Announced on December 29, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will step down from his position following the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of the company. This news comes earlier than expected, with Kotick’s departure originally believed to be set for January 1, 2024.
Following Kotick’s departure, Microsoft has yet to name his replacement. The transition will also see other high-level executives leaving the company in the coming months, including vice chairman of Blizzard and King Humam Sakhnini and chief communications officer Lulu Meservey.
In the absence of Kotick, the remaining leadership at Activision Blizzard will report to Matt Booty, the president of game content and studios at Microsoft Gaming, as part of the restructured top brass at Microsoft.
In an email addressing his upcoming departure, Kotick expressed his gratitude for the progress made in the video game industry over the past 40 years, highlighting the transformation of video games into one of the world’s most engaging mediums. He also emphasized the importance of bringing talented individuals together and providing the best resources to foster creativity and excellence within the company.
As Kotick prepares to depart, he expressed confidence in the future of the company now that it is part of Microsoft, acknowledging the shared values and ambition of Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, who played a key role in the acquisition.
Kotick’s tenure as CEO of Activision began in 1991 and saw the company’s expansion into one of the industry’s leading publishers. He oversaw major acquisitions, including Vivendi Games and the subsequent merger with Blizzard in 2008. Despite his success, Kotick faced criticism for saturating the market with popular franchises and his handling of the company’s internal issues, particularly in relation to the sexual abuse and discrimination scandal that plagued the company in 2021.
Following Kotick’s departure, Phil Spencer expressed gratitude for Kotick’s contributions to the industry and the collaboration during the acquisition process. He also wished Kotick the best in his future endeavors.
What do you think of Bobby Kotick’s departure and what do you think it means for Activision Blizzard going forward? Let us know in the comments.