Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have finally closed a takeover deal after months of delays. As such, current Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will leave the company at the end of 2023. His plans for the future have not been disclosed.
Bobby Kotick reports to Phil Spencer until the end of 2023
Kotick has been asked to remain as Activision CEO while the company fully transitions to Microsoft ownership following the conclusion of the takeover deal earlier today. While Kotick remains in his position, he will be reporting to Xbox CEO Phil Spencer. In an email to Activision employees, Kotick stated he would stay at Activision “through the end of 2023” and his plans after that are not currently known.
The departure of Kotick doesn’t come as a surprise. People with knowledge of the negotiations between Microsoft and Activision had claimed back at the start of 2022 that Kotick would step down from his role if the deal went through. If the deal had been blocked, Kotick would have been expected to stay in his role indefinitely.
Bobby Kotick has been a key part of Activision since he bought a 25% stake in the company, known then as Mediagenic, alongside partner Brian Kelly to save it from bankruptcy. Following a name change, Activision then focused on gaming and released a string of hits that included online multiplayer games like MechWarrior, Warcraft, and StarCraft. Call of Duty made its debut in 2003, while other renowned franchises include Spyro The Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk’s skateboarding games, Candy Crush Saga, Diablo, Overwatch, and Guitar Hero. A revival of Guitar Hero has even been hinted at recently by Kotick himself.
The immediate future for Activision will see “more games available in more places“, enabled by deals like Ubisoft handling the cloud streaming of Activision games. Activision, Blizzard, and King games will also be added to Xbox Game Pass in the future.