Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, the man who founded the company over 30 years ago, has recently come under heavy scrutiny over his company’s corporate culture, and is now preparing to leave if and when Microsoft’s deal goes through. This is according to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.
Officially, Kotick will stay on at Activision Blizzard as its CEO for right now, but behind the curtains, management at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have (reportedly) agreed that Kotick will be moving on when the deal pulls through.
Kotick is accused of many things, among them, knowing about and sweeping reports of sexual harassment under the rug. It’s also been reported that Kotick has also threatened to kill an assistant.
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard still needs to clear regulatory barriers. Should there be no hitches, the deal will close in fiscal year 2023 (July 2022 — June 2023). The board of directors at Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have already approved the deal, but the shareholders still need to stamp their approval.
Kotick’s contract with Activision Blizzard appears to show that he would be paid more than $200 million upon leaving Activision Blizzard, as part of a clause pertaining to “termination or change of control.”
If Microsoft’s bid for Activision Blizzard gets the green light, it would be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever, with the next closest being LinkedIn ($26.2 billion).