The news that Microsoft has succeeded in acquiring Activision Blizzard was a bombshell yesterday. Analysts say the move is likely to be the end of Bobby Kotick’s career at Activision – the question is how soon…
Yesterday, we made video game history: Activision Blizzard and all its studios will be owned by Xbox after Microsoft’s record-breaking acquisition of the giant for a total value of nearly $70 billion. The Call of Duty and World of Warcraft companies have not been in the best of shape after months of unrelenting storms surrounding them over abuse and toxic culture.
As if today wasn’t interesting enough, and the change of ownership of the franchises didn’t bring enough controversy, Bobby Kotick soon found himself in the newsmakers’ crosshairs, although for now, his controversial position as CEO of Activision Blizzard seemed solid. His future, however, could certainly take him outside the company, as reported by sources at the respected The Wall Street Journal, who also broke the news of the acquisition.
Both companies reportedly agreed to Kotick’s departure after the deal closed
“Bobby Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard,” Microsoft spokesman Jason Schreier was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “Once the deal closes, Activision Blizzard’s business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming. So we’ve got Bobby Kotick in the industry for a good few more months, and then we’ll see.”
According to The Wall Street Journal’s sources, although Microsoft has announced that Bobby Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard, the two companies have agreed that he will leave after the deal closes, which is expected to happen no later than 2023. One of the main reasons Kotick’s departure has become uncertain is related to a strict contract – particularly the amount of his potential severance package.
The dismissal of Bobby Kotick from Activision Blizzard would be an expensive affair
Despite Microsoft buying the studio, they have decided to keep the controversial CEO in his position for the time being.
Sadly, the relieved reaction of many gamers that after the Activision Blizzard acquisition, Phil Spencer will definitely not keep Kotick as CEO was a premature joy. It seems that the termination of old Bobby’s contract would have serious financial consequences that the already bleeding company cannot afford. As stated in a document sent to investors, which sets out the details of the CEO’s job description and possible dismissal…
…could receive more than $292 million if he is replaced due to a change in the company’s management.
The figures in the compilation include the amounts Kotick would receive if he were to be dismissed from his job for various reasons. Further details are provided for each situation, which in this case relate to the sale of Activision Blizzard and the decisions made by the acquiring company.
Xbox wants to extend its culture of proactive inclusion to Activision Blizzard
However, Microsoft is aware of the concerns about Bobby Kotick’s leadership, or lack thereof, in the wake of the recent Activision Blizzard scandals, which is why they wanted to make the company’s policy clear on social media: “Xbox is committed to our journey towards inclusion in all aspects of gaming. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”
We were then treated to the first words from Boby Kotick, who assured us that as CEO of Activision Blizzard, he would continue to work with the same passion and enthusiasm he had when he started on this incredible journey in 1991.
Today is a historic moment. We are excited to announce that the world-renowned franchises and talented people at @ATVI_AB will be joining Team Xbox!
— Xbox (@Xbox) January 18, 2022
— Nibel (@Nibellion) January 18, 2022
A propos of nothing, here's how much Activision Blizzard is to pay Kotick if he is terminated as a result of a change of control of the company, per his employee agreement pic.twitter.com/JEA5zexmI1
— Alex (@gamesbizuk) January 18, 2022