Bobby Kotick, the longtime CEO of Activision Blizzard, will finally vacate his position at the end of the year following Microsoft's successful acquisition of the company that owns Call of Duty, Overwatch 2, the Diablo games, Candy Crush Saga, and so much more. It was speculated that Kotick's role at the company might change following the acquisition or that he might leave entirely, and based on Kotick's statement released on Friday that was also offered to his team before being made public, it seems like the latter theory is correct.
Kotick took over as the CEO of the company that would later become Activision in 1991 which makes his tenure atop the corporation one of the longest that's seen in the gaming industry. That tenure will conclude at the end of the year, however.
Bobby Kotick's Statement
Kotick addressed his start with the company in his statement about his departure and recalled the introduction of Call of Duty in the 2000s, Guitar Hero later on, and eventually, the mobile mega-hit Candy Crush Saga. According to Kotick, Xbox boss Phil Spencer asked him to say on as the CEO of Activision Blizzard to assist with the transition now that the acquisition has been finalized. Kotick agreed and said he'd hold that position "through the end of 2023," so after that, someone new will presumably take charge.
"I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition," Kotick said in a letter to his team that was made public, too. "Phil 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. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players."
Alongside Spencer, Kotick has (naturally) been one of the more vocal proponents of the Activision Blizzard acquisition and has appeared on financial news segments and in court proceedings when the acquisition was being investigated.
Bobby Kotick as CEO
During his lengthy time at Activision Blizzard, Kotick was embroiled in more than one controversy with the most recent being the allegations that sexual harassment and abuse was taking place within the company. It was reported that Kotick knew about the misconduct for years and failed to act, though Activision rebuked that reporting and said it was "disappointed" by the claims.
In a general sense, Kotick was not looked upon favorably by more vocal parts of the gaming community. Part of those opinions dealt with situations like the one described above, and while others at roles of a similar level to his have praised his qualities as a businessman, many criticized him for any change Activision made it in its games that was viewed as anti-consumer such as excessive microtransactions and annual releases of games like Call of Duty.
It has not been said yet who'll take over Activision Blizzard as the CEO once Kotick steps down from the role.
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