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Report: Bobby Kotick to stay at Activision if Microsoft merger fails

Whether or not Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard, Kotick will remain a part of the publisher's tumultuous legacy.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Headshot of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

Sources speaking to Fox Business claim that Bobby Kotick may continue to have a future as Activision Blizzard's CEO. According to those sources, the CEO will "absolutely remain at the gaming giant to run the company" were regulators to succeed in stopping the $69 billion merger

It was previously reported that Kotick, who has been CEO since 1991, would step down should Microsoft succeed in acquiring the Call of Duty publisher. But that was at the start of 2022, long before regulators such as the CMA and FTC started making active efforts to fight the merger over concerns that the deal stifles competition in the game industry. 

Even before that, there've been internal and external questions about Kotick's future at Activision Blizzard after allegations surfaced in late 2021 about his treatment of women in and out of the company. Those allegations came months after a lawsuit from California alleging the game company had a "frat house" culture.

Along with allegedly harassing his own assistant and an airline pilot, Kotick was accused of enabling abusers to thrive at the publisher. Activision Blizzard denied several of the claims against Kotick, insisting the reports provided a "misleading view,"  and that "instances of sexual misconduct that were brought to his attention were acted upon."

Following those allegations, Xbox's Phil Spencer said the company would be "evaluating" the relationship it had with the publisher. Nearly two months later, that evaluation on Xbox's end became a large-scale acquisition effort that remains ongoing.

Outside of Xbox, allegations against Kotick were met with employee walkouts from Blizzard employees, and several called for his removal from the company. Kotick reportedly claimed back then that he would leave if he felt he hadn't fixed his company's wide range of workplace culture issues. He presently remains the CEO of Activision Blizzard. 

Game Developer has reached out to Activision Blizzard, and a spokesperson for the publisher declined to comment. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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