In January of this year, Microsoft announced that they had bought Activision Blizzard for a monumental $68.7 billion. For that staggering amount of money, Microsoft purchased all of Activision Blizzard, meaning Activision, Blizzard, King, and all of the companies’ studios will report to Microsoft when the acquisition is finalized. As of right now, Bobby Kotick, controversially remains CEO of Activision Blizzard despite the lawsuits and allegations against the “frat bro” workplace culture of Activision Blizzard. In spite of Kotick keeping his position after the announcement, CEO of Microsoft, Phil Spencer, has stated that, “the Activision Blizzard business will report to me as CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
Due to the nature of the acquisition, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will investigate the intricacies of the regulatory hoops that massive mergers have to go through. This process, plus meetings with shareholders, to finalize the acquisition is estimated to take around a year. According to a proxy statement Activision sent to the SEC on April 15, talks on Kotick’s position after the merger have not yet been discussed. In the statement,
No discussions or negotiations regarding post-closing employment arrangements with Microsoft occurred between Microsoft and Mr. Kotick prior to the approval and execution of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, or have occurred subsequent to such approval and execution, through the date hereof
This proxy statement also mentioned the U.S Department of Justice and SEC inquiries into possible insider trading committed by associates of Kotick. Barry Diller, David Geffen, and Alexander von Furstenberg are currently under investigation for purchasing 4.12 million Activision shares for $108 million on Jan. 14, four days before the announcement of the acquisition. Between possible insider trading and Kotick allegedly knowing of the sexual harassment claims for “years,” both Activision Blizzard shareholders and employees have argued Kotick should step away from the company. Despite Microsoft’s harsh criticism of Kotick’s response to the sexual harassment allegations, Kotick’s future still remains unconfirmed and ambiguous.