Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to leave following Microsoft buyout

Activision's controversial CEO Bobby Kotick to leave the company after 31 years when Microsoft's acquisition buyout goes through.

Published Tue, Jan 18 2022 5:04 PM CST   |   Updated Mon, Feb 14 2022 6:38 PM CST

Activision-Blizzard CEO and President Bobby Kotick will leave the company after Microsoft's buyout goes through.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to leave following Microsoft buyout 4341 |

Bobby Kotick will depart Activision once Microsoft's acquisition buyout closes, multiple sources have told The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. The news comes months after Kotick promised to resign if he couldn't fix the company-wide issues and toxic workplace culture.

Kotick will continue his role as CEO until regulatory approval has been made on the deal, which is expected to be finalized during Microsoft's FY22 period (June 2022 through July 2023).

Activision has grown tremendously through Kotick's 31-year tenure, and also during the years of billion-dollar growth following the Activision-Blizzard merger. The publisher has made a record-breaking $8 billion and $8.3 billion in revenue in the last two years respectively, and carved out one of the most powerful free-to-play forces with Call of Duty Warzone.

This stellar performance has come at a very real cost. Reports of sexual harassment, discrimination, and coercion run rampant throughout the publisher, leading to multiple lawsuits, employee strikes, and plummeting stock value. Activision-Blizzard's reputation has been tarnished from the allegations and Microsoft has yet to comment on the issues following the buyout offer.

Activision is currently facing four high-profile complaints that may have precedential effects on the games industry:

  1. California Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigation alleging sexual misconduct and discrimination
  2. Charges of violating National Labor Relations Act with unfair labor practices (ULP) and alleged union busting
  3. Class-action lawsuit alleging securities fraud with over a dozen law firms trying to bring the case to trial
  4. SEC investigation regarding internal communications, workplace discrimination, and potential securities fraud
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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