KEY POINTS

  • Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion
  • The tech giant said Bobby Kotick will remain CEO of the newly acquired company
  • There have been reports saying Kotick will leave the company "once the deal closes"

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is at the center of the spotlight in the wake of Microsoft's acquisition of the video game company. Several reports have claimed that the executive wanted nothing to do with the merger, and while official announcements about his position can't be made just yet, there have been rumors saying the tech giant might let him go sometime in mid-2023.

Microsoft's move to buy Activision Blizzard at an opportune time has created a buzz. Fans and industry watchers only know about the nearly $70 billion acquisition, but Bloomberg recently offered more information about the inner workings of the deal.

According to the outlet, Kotick originally did not want the acquisition to happen. Instead, the executive wanted to wait out and see if another company would outbid Microsoft's offer. But because of the frail position he has within Activision Blizzard's board of directors, he has very little say on the matter. 

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick faces an uncertain future in his job after news of a Microsoft merger deal Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick faces an uncertain future in his job after news of a Microsoft merger deal Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Drew Angerer

Now that Activision Blizzard is under Microsoft, there have been speculations that the tech giant might want to sever ties with the executive and he might soon be removed from the company.

However, a recent statement from Microsoft noted that Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard. It added that the company will report directly to Phil Spencer, the new CEO of Microsoft Gaming, as soon as the merger is finalized.

Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal seemingly confirmed the speculations about Kotick leaving the company as soon as the deal is done. According to the outlet, one employee who will not be joining Microsoft is Kotick.

"He is expected to leave the company once the deal closes," The Wall Street Journal noted.

The outlet's sources reportedly claimed both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have already agreed that the CEO of the latter "will depart once the deal closes."

Based on the contract Kotnick filed at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the CEO could receive $292,970,341 for being terminated "without cause or for good reason" within 12 months after the finalization of the deal with Microsoft. However, the termination clause gains could be foregone, considering that a lot of Activision Blizzard shareholders have long been calling for his resignation.