Hot on the heels of learning Microsoft has finally, officially closed their acquisition of Activision Blizzard – we’ve learned longtime CEO Bobby Kotick is staying, but not for long.
In a new letter to employees addressing the buyout, Kotick said “Phil (Spencer) has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023.”
While a specific date for Kotick’s resignation wasn’t mentioned, his later words seem to hint that his departure is definitely coming.
“Brian and I couldn’t be more excited for the next chapter for ABK,” Kotick said. “We now join one of the most successful global companies, poised for unprecedented opportunities to connect the world through our games. As a part of Microsoft, we will be even better, together.”
Here’s the full message from Kotick to all Activision Blizzard staff:
Today marks a milestone in our company’s celebrated history.
Combining with Microsoft will bring new resources and new opportunities to our extraordinary teams worldwide. It will also enable us to deliver more fun, more joy, and more connection to more players than ever before.
This moment is possible because of your efforts over four decades to innovate, inspire, and achieve.
When Brian Kelly and I began this journey in 1991, we intended to build a company that would have great impact and lasting value. Your tireless work and unwavering commitment to excellence enabled us to do just that. In the 1980s, we pioneered independent, third-party game development with Pitfall, River Raid, and Kaboom. In the 1990s, we united the world with online multiplayer games like MechWarrior, Warcraft, and StarCraft. In the 2000s, we introduced Call of Duty, which became one of the most successful entertainment franchises in history. We also introduced Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, which entered popular culture in ways few videogames ever have. In the 2010s, we debuted Candy Crush Saga, which to date has been downloaded more than five billion times and contributed to our total worldwide players being fifty percent female.
Your dedication is what makes it possible for us to continually push envelopes, break records, and delight players. Amid the uncertainty of the last 21 months, you’ve remained focused, as always, on serving our players and supporting each other.
I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition. Phil has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players.
Brian and I couldn’t be more excited for the next chapter for ABK. We now join one of the most successful global companies, poised for unprecedented opportunities to connect the world through our games. As a part of Microsoft, we will be even better, together.