Kotick out at Activision Blizzard as Microsoft reshuffles management

Kotick out at Activision Blizzard as Microsoft reshuffles management

Activision Blizzard boss Robert Kotick is stepping down as CEO.

The news came in an email to staff – shared publicly via the firm's newsroom – in which the exec revealed that he would be leaving the company on December 29th after 32 years.

"I cannot adequately express the pride I have in the people who continue to contribute to our success and all those who have helped throughout my 32 years leading this company," Kotick wrote.

"We are now part of the world’s most admired company. That isn’t an accident.

"Phil Spencer has appreciated the magic of ABK for decades. When he approached Brian and me two years ago and proposed acquiring the company, it was immediately obvious that the combination of our businesses would enable us to continue to lead as the list of capable, well-resourced competitors grows."

In a memo shared internally at Microsoft – and reported by The Verge – Spencer thanked Kotick for his service to the industry.

On top of that, the Xbox boss announced a slew of organisational changes to 'align' Activision Blizzard with the company.

Activision Blizzard vice chair Thomas Tippl, as well as the presidents of Activision, Blizzard and King – Rob Kostich, Mike Ybarra and Tjodolf Sommestad – would now be reporting to Xbox's president of game content and studios, Matt Booty.

Activision Blizzard's EVP of corporate affairs and chief communications officer, Lulu Meservey, is leaving the company in January.

"At the leadership level, these changes will provide the clarity and accountability that is necessary to achieve our ambitious goals and foster a culture that is welcoming, empowering, and committed to Gaming for Everyone," Spencer wrote.

"We have an exciting 2024 lineup of games across Activision, Bethesda, Blizzard, King and Xbox Game Studios, and I know that we all look forward to sharing more details with our player communities when the time is right."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.