Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finally complete, with the $68.7 billion deal gaining approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In a new email to employees, CEO Bobby Kotick has confirmed that he will stay on until the end of 2023 to help with the transition.
“I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition. 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.”
While the deal’s impact on the industry is massive, there was always some doubt whether Kotick would leave. Initial reports claimed he would depart unless the acquisition failed to gain approval. Though Microsoft said last year that he would continue in his role, reporting to Phil Spencer, it’s now more or less a given that he’ll be gone when 2024 rolls around.
Kotick has long been a controversial figure in the industry but gained significant notoriety for his alleged role in the abuse and sexual harassment allegations against Activision Blizzard. He allegedly protected abusers like Javier Panameno and Treyarch studio head Dan Bunting and made death threats to an assistant over voicemail in 2006.
Over 1300 employees signed a petition demanding Kotick’s removal when the allegations first emerged, and while taking a salary cut, he would go on to downplay the issue. Stay tuned for more updates on his status in the coming months.