Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Steps Down



Key Takeaways

  • Bobby Kotick to step down as CEO of Activision Blizzard on Dec. 29 after Microsoft’s acquisition.
  • Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer announces leadership changes post-acquisition, maintaining current teams.

Leadership Transition at Activision Blizzard

Bobby Kotick is set to depart from his role as CEO of Activision Blizzard on December 29, a move anticipated following Microsoft’s acquisition of the gaming giant. Kotick’s departure ends a significant era in the video game industry, where he played a pivotal role since 1991. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer acknowledged Kotick’s contributions and leadership in an internal memo, expressing gratitude for his partnership during the acquisition process.

The Impact of Microsoft’s Acquisition

Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, finalized in October, underwent extensive regulatory reviews globally. This deal, the largest in Microsoft’s history, significantly expands its gaming portfolio with major franchises like Call of Duty and Warcraft. As part of the transition, Phil Spencer outlined organizational changes, ensuring continuity in leadership for Activision Publishing, Blizzard, and King.

Organizational Changes and Future Direction

The leadership transition is complemented by organizational restructuring. Key executives from Activision Blizzard, including Thomas Tippl, Rob Kostich, and Mike Ybarra, will report to Matt Booty of Microsoft’s Game Content and Studios. Brian Bulatao will report to Dave McCarthy of Microsoft Gaming. These changes aim to maintain operational clarity and accountability, crucial for the combined entity’s ambitious goals.

Maintaining Business Continuity

Despite the leadership overhaul, Spencer emphasized that for most employees, it will be “business as usual.” The day-to-day operations are expected to remain largely unchanged, ensuring a smooth transition. This approach aims to foster a culture of inclusion and empowerment, aligning with Microsoft’s vision of ‘Gaming for Everyone.’ The strategic alignment and cultural integration are key to leveraging the strengths of both organizations for future growth and innovation in the gaming sector.


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