Microsoft and Activision Blizzard haven’t decided whether Bobby Kotick will stay or leave if the acquisition goes through

Whether or not Activision Blizzard founder and CEO Bobby Kotick will stay with the company should the proposed sale to Microsoft go ahead is one of many questions that remain unanswered about the deal. We still don’t know what will happen, but Activision Blizzard recently updated a proxy filing with the US government, specifically stating that management at Activision Blizzard and Microsoft have not sat down to discuss Kotick’s employment status to date.

“There have been no discussions or negotiations of employment contracts following the termination of the employment contract with Microsoft between Microsoft and Mr. Kotick prior to the approval and execution of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, or has occurred after such approval and execution, until the date of this,” the statement says, as noted by Stephen Totilo of Axios.

While no official announcement has been made about Kotick’s future with Activision Blizzard should the deal be finalized, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick will be leaving. The official message is that Kotick will remain with Activision Blizzard as CEO for now, but behind the scenes, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard management have reportedly agreed that Kotick will leave once the deal is finalized.

The silence on this and other issues is apparently related to how the deal is pending, subject to approval from the US government. Or there may be other factors at play. Recently, four US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, wrote a letter to the FTC saying they are “deeply concerned” about the proposed takeover.

Lawmakers said the FTC would need to find out whether Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard “could exacerbate the flurry of sexual abuse, harassment and retaliation allegations at Activision as a result of recent federal and state investigations.”

The senators also said they are concerned that Kotick will remain with the company if the deal goes through. Kotick is accused, among other things, of knowing and covering up reports of sexual harassment. Kotick also allegedly threatened to kill an assistant. Activision Blizzard staff has been calling for Kotick to resign for months.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, believes the deal will go through, which is no surprise. He said in an interview that if the deal comes through, Microsoft will still be number three in terms of market share.

In January, Microsoft announced that it planned to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a figure that has since risen to $75 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is by far Microsoft’s largest acquisition ever — the second largest being the $26.2 billion it paid for Skype in 2016. It is one of the largest acquisitions in the history of acquisitions across all business sectors.

Arun Agarwal
I am Arun Agarwal, a passionate blogger and gamer. I love to share my thoughts on games and technology through blog posts. I’m also an avid reader of books about history, philosophy, science-fiction, and other genres as well as an anime fan. I like reading books that give me new perspectives or help me think differently about the world around us.