Bobby Kotick Will Remain Activision Blizzard CEO After Xbox Acquisition – IGN

Microsoft has confirmed that controversial Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will remain in his position after it acquires the company.

Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion, and made clear that Kotick would remain in his position until the deal was complete. IGN asked for comment on what the future of the scandal-hit executive would be after that deal:

“Bobby will lead Activision Blizzard as CEO, as he has for the last 30 years,” replied a Microsoft spokesperson. “Together, Bobby and Phil will work together to ensure the transition to this exciting new combined enterprise. The Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil after the close.”

The spokesperson did not add any details about Kotick’s specific duties once Spencer steps in as CEO.

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It’s possible that Kotick’s position at the company will be under review after his current contract expires. Last year, Kotick took a 50% pay cut as part of a contract that extends until a minimum of March 31, 2023 – the Microsoft spokesperson did not make reference to that contract, or if it would be extended.

That’s a response not likely to please many Activision Blizzard employees and detractors, with Kotick sitting at the centre of a number of scandals in the last year. The CEO has been accused of ignoring a “frat boy culture” of sexual harassment and abuse, withholding information about abuses at the company, and was criticised for his initial responses to a major lawsuit regarding those allegations.

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While never referring to those issues specifically in today’s announcement, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer referred to Microsoft’s commitment to inclusion “among both employees and players”, and said that, “We’re looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.”

In a separate Microsoft press release, a spokesperson said that Kotick would be “driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture” until the deal was closed.

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Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Thumbnail Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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