Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard's long-standing CEO, will step down from his role at the end of 2023 following Microsoft's successful $69 billion acquisition of the gaming giant.
In an email to employees, Kotick shared that he is "fully committed to helping with the transition" until the end of the year.
Bloomberg spoke with several employees who expressed their excitement over the deal. "Sounds like it’ll be done by next week, if not today. I’m very curious to see how Xbox handles operations moving forward — especially at Blizzard," one of its reporters wrote.
Spoke to several Activision Blizzard employees this week who were all very excited for this deal to go through. Sounds like it’ll be done by next week, if not today. I’m very curious to see how Xbox handles operations moving forward — especially at Blizzard https://t.co/y732WlH9MO— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 13, 2023
Kotick, who's been in charge of Activision for over 30 years and oversaw its partnership with Blizzard, considered stepping down in late 2021 following lawsuits from the state of California due to reports of a toxic work culture, unequal pay, and harassment cases.
Activision was also sued by several shareholders over its secrecy over the lawsuits, leading employees to protest and demand for Kotick to step down.
Workers Are Excited Over the Deal
The Communication Workers of America (CWA), a union based in the US, released a press statement celebrating Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard gives workers a chance to have a true voice at work.— CWA (@CWAUnion) October 13, 2023
Now is the time to join together at Microsoft/Activision Blizzard!
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard workers, learn more and get involved at https://t.co/YEBW3nBTQKhttps://t.co/Fo7hyOhX70
This comes after the tech giant struck a neutrality agreement with the union, promising that it would not discourage workers from unionizing.
"It is a new day for workers at Activision Blizzard,” CWA president Claude Cummings Jr shared.
Additionally, Microsoft President Brad Smith pledged to uphold its agreement with the union.
"We look forward to meeting, listening to and learning from our new Activision Blizzard employees and continuing our collaborative engagement with CWA and the workers it represents," he concluded in a blog post.
Edited by Nikola Djuric