Activision Blizzard has been the subject of multiple controversies over the last year or so, with multiple reports having shed light on the company’s persistent and widespread workplace culture of harassment, toxicity, and abuse. Allegedly, CEO Bobby Kotick has been responsible for the enabling of a lot of those issues over the years, which has brought his position under fire as well.
With Microsoft set to finalize the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by sometime in 2023, questions have been asked about what that will mean for Kotick. While he will, of course, continue to serve as Activision’s chief until the ink dries on the deal, reports have suggested that once that does happen, he’ll step down from his post and leave the company.
It seems, however, that there have been no such discussions between Kotick and Microsoft until now. In a recent update to Activision Blizzard’s legal filing for the planned sale to Microsoft (spotted by Axios’ Stephen Totilo on Twitter), it’s very explicitly stated that Microsoft and Kotick have made no arrangements regarding his departure once the deal has closed.
“No discussions or negotiations regarding post-closing employment arrangements with Microsoft occurred between Microsoft and Mr. Kotick prior to the approval and execution of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, or have occurred subsequent to such approval and execution, through the date hereof,” the document reads.
Earlier this year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft has “had a good discussion” with Activision Blizzard leadership about how they plan to tackle the many significant workplace issues at the company that have come to light of late. However, in terms of structural changes to the company once the Xbox deal is completed – including any potential changes to Kotick’s position – there has been no official communication from Microsoft.
Following aforementioned reports on allegations against Kotick last year, many of the company’s employees and shareholders demanded his resignation. Subsequent reports suggested that if he couldn’t fix the company’s issues with speed, he would consider stepping down.
On Friday, Activision added a line to its main filing about the planned sale to Microsoft, stressing that Microsoft and Bobby Kotick haven't discussed nor negotiated his post-merger employment status.https://t.co/w9N3sXZM2g
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) April 18, 2022