Activision-Blizzard: The CEO maintained despite the takeover by Microsoft?


No one expected to see this ad appear. In a tweet, Jason Schreier announces that the Wall Street Journal mentions the acquisition of Activision-Bliizard-King (Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Candy Crush…) by Microsoft for the absolutely mind-boggling sum of $68.7 billion. News quickly confirmed by Microsoft, which announces that the company acquired will report to Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming.

The agreements have yet to be signed and the authorities will have to judge the validity of the transaction (especially with regard to antitrust laws), but we are facing the largest financial operation in the history of the industry. In the perspective that everything is going well and where Activision-Blizzard-King integrates well the ranks of Microsoft, what will become of Bobby Kotick, the company’s much-criticized CEO?

This last, called into question by some of the employees, was notably accused of having threatened one of his employees, of having covered up certain behaviors, and of having delayed the publication of the figures linked to the layoffs (contested by the company). He said, however, that if he could not stop the harassment and toxic behavior, he would consider leaving his seat of CEO.

Activision-Blizzard: The CEO maintained despite the takeover by Microsoft?

Supported by its board of directors, Bobby Kotick should, at least for now, keep his job. Activision-Blizzard-King, like Bethesda, should retain plenty of leeway, while reporting to Phil Spencer, who will soon be at the head of an ultra-massive division. In a press release, Microsoft Xbox has confirmed the retention of Bobby Kotick as CEO:

Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will continue to focus on efforts to further strengthen company culture and accelerate company growth. Once the deal is done, the Activision-Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming.

For his part, Bobby Kotick said:

For over 30 years, our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games. Combining Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our success. continuously in an increasingly competitive industry.

A posture that may seem surprising when we remember the concerns expressed by Phil Spencer vis-à-vis the business related to Activision-Blizzard-King. Before we were all surprised by the takeover announcement, Microsoft was considering “reassessing its relationship” with the publisher. That being said, it is quite possible that Bobby Kotick will end up leaving his post after a transition period.

But right now, Microsoft wants to keep him as the company’s CEO. We should also remember that in the event of departure, Bobby Kotick’s contract provides a golden parachute estimated at around $300 million. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will handle the problems it will inherit in the future. The date of the finalization of the agreement has not been disclosed.

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