Bobby Kotick Will Remain Activision Blizzard CEO Through End Of 2023 Following Microsoft Acquisition

Update: Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Set to Depart in 2024

Earlier today, Microsoft completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a staggering $69 billion. As part of the deal, Xbox head Phil Spencer personally requested that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stay on as CEO through the end of the year to aid in the transition. While it was unclear whether Kotick would leave the company in 2024, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports that Kotick will indeed depart on January 1, 2024.

Game Informer has reached out to Activision Blizzard for confirmation of Kotick’s departure on January 1, 2024, and will provide updates as they become available.

Original Story: Microsoft Officially Acquires Activision Blizzard

After a wait of nearly two years, Microsoft has finally completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with a price tag of almost $69 billion. In emails exchanged between Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, it has been revealed that Kotick will retain his role as CEO until the end of 2023. The decision for Kotick to remain as CEO was made at the request of Phil Spencer, who sought his assistance with the transition as Activision Blizzard becomes part of Xbox’s first-party umbrella.

Image from Xbox

In an email sent to all Activision Blizzard employees, Kotick expressed his commitment to facilitating a smooth transition, stating, “I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition. [Phil Spencer] has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players.”

Expressing excitement over the acquisition, Spencer also sent an email stating, “We couldn’t be more excited that Activision Blizzard employees are now our colleagues, co-workers, and teammates. Bobby Kotick has agreed to remain in his role through the end of 2023, reporting directly to me, to ensure a smooth and seamless integration. We look forward to working together as a unified team and we will share more updates on our new organizational structure in the coming months.”

Microsoft Gaming CEO and Xbox Head Phil Spencer

Speculation has been rife regarding Kotick’s future at Activision Blizzard following the acquisition. As reported by Axios last year, if Kotick were to be terminated after the purchase, he would receive a payout of $15 million. Additionally, he could potentially be awarded up to $22 million in stock if the board sees improvements in the company culture, particularly in relation to the reports of misconduct and harassment. It was also revealed that Kotick was aware of the company’s history of sexual misconduct, leading to employee protests demanding his resignation.

While it is not yet definitive whether Kotick will depart from Activision Blizzard in 2024, with Spencer’s request for him to stay on, it seems likely that Kotick will leave the company amicably and on his own terms next year. In the meantime, we now know that Kotick will remain as CEO for the remainder of this year.

For more on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, click here. In addition, find out about Kotick’s interview with former late-night show host James Corden regarding Guitar Hero and more.

What are your thoughts on Spencer’s decision to retain Kotick as CEO until 2023? Share your opinions in the comments below!