Bobby Kotick, the long-time boss of publisher Activision Blizzard, will apparently call it a day once the acquisition nears completion.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal earlier today, Kotick will step down as the chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard once the landmark acquisition deal with Microsoft concludes in the near future.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, had stated in an announcement that both “Activision Blizzard and Microsoft Gaming will continue to operate independently” until the Xbox deal is complete, after which Kotick will report to him as the new chief.
Reportedly though, all parties involved have agreed on Kotick making an exit at the end but not without a substantial payout which has been estimated to be around $300 million.
A propos of nothing, here's how much Activision Blizzard is to pay Kotick if he is terminated as a result of a change of control of the company, per his employee agreement pic.twitter.com/JEA5zexmI1
— Alex (@gamesbizuk) January 18, 2022
Activision Blizzard has been marred by troubling allegations of housing a highly abusive workplace culture where several executives were not only aware of the problems but also played their roles as enablers. An ongoing investigation into the damning sexual harassment complaints had been calling Kotick to step down, who has been heading the company for nearly three decades now.
Kotick however has stated that the allegations had nothing to do with selling his company to Microsoft. The dipping stock price was actually due to Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 being constantly delayed and ongoing performance issues with Call of Duty, he said.
Microsoft will be acquiring Activision Blizzard, all of its subsidiary studios and game franchises, for close to $70 billion. Warcraft and World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, Hearthstone, StarCraft, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Tony Hawk, Candy Crush, Call of Duty, and a lot more are now officially first-party Xbox games.