Activision Blizzard King is finally owned by Microsoft, and the acquisition that has spanned more than a year is finally over. With that, plenty of questions arise, chief among them being: what happens to Activision Blizzard King CEO Bobby Kotick?
Kotick has been with Activision for years, and seen it through its most successful periods and multiple cultural tentpoles in the industry. He’s also been the one in charge while a toxic work culture festered to the point where employees couldn’t take it any more.
Now that the acquisition is finished, Kotick will remain as Activision Blizzard King’s chief executive officer – but only until the end of 2023. Come 2024, someone else will take the helm.
“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.” said Kotick in a letter to ABK employees.
“We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players.”
Kotick’s departure is something that ABK developers have been asking for, and it’ll definitely be regarded as one of the key aspects in how this deal continues to change the games industry.
Who takes up Kotick’s spot next of course is the big question, and will they, along with Microsoft, be up to the task of fixing the three-decades of issues Kotick allowed to pile up.
For what it’s worth, Microsoft has already spoken at length about its commitment to creating a good work culture within the studios it houses and working with unions employees may choose to be members of.
Vice chair and president Brad Smith even re-affirmed that commitment in a blog post with the acquisition’s approval.
“As Microsoft has closed its transaction to acquire Activision Blizzard, we affirm out commitment to our labor principles and innovative approach to union partnerships.
Microsoft remains steadfast in our support of our current and future employees in whatever choice they make about their workplace and their representatives.
We look forward to meeting, listening to, and learning from our new Activision Blizzard employees and continuing our collaborative engagement with CWA (Communications Workers Of America) and the workers it represents.”