The big question left after Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard: What will Bobby Kotick look like? The embattled chief executive has been under pressure to resign since at least November over a workplace misconduct scandal at the company, after reports he was aware of complaints for years and had engaged in abuse himself.Neither Microsoft nor Activision Blizzard commented on his status after the company was acquired, but according to Wall Street Journal He is expected to step down after the deal is completed.a report Bloomberg He said the same, citing a person familiar with the deal.
In the acquisition announcement, Microsoft said Kotick would remain Activision Blizzard’s CEO, but added that once the acquisition is complete, “Actvision Blizzard’s business will report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer.” There was no mention of what role Kotick would play at that time. .
Kotick said something similar in his own Microsoft acquisition announcement. “A deal like this can take a long time to complete,” he said. wrote“Until we obtain all necessary regulatory approvals and satisfy other customary closing conditions, we expect that we will continue to operate fully autonomously at some point in Microsoft’s fiscal 2023 ending June 30, 2023. I will continue to serve as our CEO, the passion and enthusiasm I had when I started this amazing journey in 1991.”
He expressed interest in staying at the company after Microsoft took control, telling New York Times He will be “on call as needed” after the deal is complete.He said something similar in an interview VentureBeat, said his focus right now was “just staying as CEO and running the business” but reporting to Spencer “was an easy task.”
“What I’ve told Microsoft is that I care deeply about this company and whatever role they want from me to make sure we integrate our business and get a proper and smooth transition, I’m willing to do it,” Kotick said. “No matter how long it will take, if it’s a month after the close, if it’s a year from now, I’m just concerned about the transition going well.”
While Kotick says he’s committed to bringing positive change to Activision Blizzard, his experience at the top of the company has weighed on him: a decades-long tenure with unresolved complaints of workplace abuse. Keeping him around in any capacity will almost certainly come at a public relations cost — news of his ouster comes from sources as diverse as investor groups and political activist groups — and Kotick continues to face boycotts from perceived Blizzard employees.
“The news of Activision’s acquisition by Microsoft is surprising, but doesn’t change the goals of the ABK Workers Union,” the Activision workers group said in a series of tweets. “Regardless of who controls the company financially, we remain committed to fighting for better workplace and employee rights. We will continue to work with allies across the gaming industry to drive measurable change in an industry that desperately needs it . We are calling for the removal of Bobby Kotick as CEO in November to protect abusers, who remains CEO as of this writing.”
In the end, three-quarters of our initial collective demands to improve the conditions of women in the workforce have not been met. (5/6)January 18, 2022
The ABK Workers Union also noted that the Raven QA strike is now in its fifth week and that “struggling employees have not yet received [a] Leadership response to our request to negotiate. “
Even if the Wall Street Journal report is correct, Kotick’s departure goes a long way. As Kotick pointed out in a message to employees, Microsoft doesn’t expect the deal to pass regulatory and shareholder approvals and be fully completed until sometime in fiscal 2023, which is 17 months later in 2023. Ends in June.