Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to Step Down by the End of the Year, Matt Booty Taking Over

Perhaps the most controversial executive in the history of the video game industry is stepping down by the end of the year. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has long been a divisive figure for his aggressive and abrasive style, but his image took an even worse beating when he was personally implicated in the workplace misconduct allegations that roiled Acti-Blizz back in 2021. Despite that, he hung on, negotiating the $69 billion sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft. Throughout the process Microsoft and Xbox boss Phil Spencer largely remained mum on Kotick’s future, although he did announce he’d be leaving earlier this year.

Now we have more details and a specific date as today Spencer announced via an internal memo acquired by The Verge that Kotick will depart the company on December 29. Some other Kotick loyalists, including the outspoken communications officer Lulu Meservey, will be following him out of the company. Kotick won’t be directly replaced, with Activision Blizzard now being brought under the Xbox Content and Studios umbrella led by Matt Booty. Leaders of Acti-Blizz’s various divisions that previously served Kotick – Mike Ybarra (Blizzard), Rob Kostich (Activision), and Tjodolf Sommestad (King) will keep their jobs.

Here’s what Spencer had to say about the departure of Kotick…

“Earlier today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick formally announced that Friday December 29th, 2023 will be his last day at Microsoft Gaming. Under Bobby’s watch, Activision Blizzard in its many incarnations has been an enduring pillar of video games. Whether it’s Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush Saga or any number of other titles, his teams have created beloved franchises and entertained hundreds of millions of players for decades. I’d like to thank Bobby—for his invaluable contributions to this industry, his partnership in closing the Activision Blizzard acquisition and his collaboration following the close—and I wish him and his family the very best in his next chapter.”

Pour one out for ol’ Bobby. Or, you know what? Maybe don’t. What are your thoughts on Kotick finally deploying his golden parachute? How might Activision Blizzard change without him at the helm?

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