Bobby Kotick is Reportedly Expected to Leave Activision Blizzard After Microsoft Deal Closes

Bobby Kotick is reportedly expected to leave Activision Blizzard after the deal closes.
Bobby Kotick is reportedly expected to leave Activision Blizzard after the deal closes. / Drew Angerer/GettyImages

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is expected to leave the company after Microsoft's $68.7 Billion deal closes, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Microsoft's deal to acquire Activision Blizzard deal is expected to close in Microsoft's 2023 financial year, between July 2022 and June 2023.

At the time of writing, there is perhaps one thing set in stone regarding Bobby Kotick's future as with Activision Blizzard — he will remain the CEO of the company at least until the deal is made official.

As newly appointed Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer mentioned in his Xbox Wire blog post on Tuesday morning, "Until this transaction closes, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently. Once the deal is complete, the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming."

IGN and Bloomberg have both reported similar findings from their respective sources that Kotick will continue to serve in his role only until the deal closes to ensure "the very best integration," and that after the transition period, it's unclear what position, if any, he would take afterward.

According to The Wall Street Journal, however, "the companies have agreed" that Kotick will depart "once the deal closes."

Back in November, Spencer said he was "evaluating all aspects" of Xbox's relationship with Activision Blizzard, and that the rest of the gaming leadership team were "disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions" at Activision Blizzard.

After leading Activision Blizzard for over three decades, Kotick came under pressure from employees to resign last year in the wake of the ongoing lawsuits and allegations that tie him to ignoring and withholding information about the company's "frat boy culture" of sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination.

"After the close, we will have significant work to do in order to continue to build a culture where everyone can do their best work," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on a call with investors according to Bloomberg.

Last year, Kotick took a 50% pay cut as part of his current Activision Blizzard contract that is set to expire on March 31, 2023.

There are also plenty of discussions to be had on Kotick being able to potentially leave the situation with a "golden parachute."

Kotick's employment contract calls for him to receive a severance package worth, at minimum, $250 million should he lose his job to a corporate takeover.