Bobby Kotick officially leaves Activision Blizzard following Microsoft acquisition

02 January 2024

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Bobby Kotick leaves Activision Blizzard following Microsoft acquisition
Image Credit: Activision Blizzard/Microsoft

Video game company Activision Blizzard will start 2024 without a CEO following Bobby Kotick’s departure on December 29th, 2023.

The former boss of the company stayed on board until the end of 2023 to help with the transition of Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft. The purchase amounted to $68.7bn and was completed on October 13th, 2023. Following Kotick’s departure, key personnel changes were also made going into the new year.

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According to a report by The Verge citing Microsoft executives, Kotick’s role as a CEO won’t be filled. Instead, executives at Activision Blizzard will report directly to Microsoft Game Content and Studios President, Matt Booty. Under Booty is a suite of notable executives including Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, Activision publishing president Rob Kostich, and Activision Blizzard vice chair Thomas Tippl, The Verge reported.

“Earlier today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick formally announced that Friday December 29th, 2023 will be his last day at Microsoft Gaming,” said Xbox Chief, Phil Spencer, in an internal memo.

“Under Bobby’s watch, Activision Blizzard in its many incarnations has been an enduring pillar of video games. Whether it’s Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush Saga or any number of other titles, his teams have created beloved franchises and entertained hundreds of millions of players for decades. I’d like to thank Bobby—for his invaluable contributions to this industry, his partnership in closing the Activision Blizzard acquisition, and his collaboration following the close—and I wish him and his family the very best in his next chapter.”

According to the message by Spencer, the leadership teams for Activision Publishing, Blizzard, and King “will remain in place, with no changes to the structure of how the studios and business units are run.”

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However, some executive-level employees will be departing in the upcoming months, as they continue to help with the transition process. This includes the likes of Activision Blizzard Chief Communications Officer Lulu Meservey as well as Blizzard and King Vice Chairman Humam Sakhnini.

With the acquisition completed, Microsoft is looking to expand its gaming segment and the possibility of adding Activision Blizzard’s games to the Xbox Game Pass. On the esports side, it’s still unclear what Microsoft will do to Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch esports division following the end of the Overwatch League.

Davide Xu