Bobby Kotick is leaving Activision Blizzard at the end of the month
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will leave the company next week, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft confirmed Kotick will depart on December 29 in an internal memo this week, following the announcement that the controversial CEO would step down by the end of the year following the company's acquisition of Activision. Executives from the publisher, such as Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, will now report directly to Xbox head Matt Booty.
Kotick signed off in a new message sent to Activision employees, detailing how his love of gaming dates back to old text-based adventure games, and how he couldn't "adequately express the pride" he has for those who have worked at the company over the years. He concluded the email by saying that the company's employees "could not be in better hands" under Phil Spencer's leadership, but Kotick did not reveal his plans.
Spencer and Booty both addressed the change in emails to employees (via The Verge), wishing Kotick the best in his professional and personal lives and confirming Activision's new leadership structure.
Kotick's reputation in the gaming community has been generally negative, with serious allegations of sexual misconduct and poor working conditions at Activision resulting in lawsuits and employee protests over the years. Even when it comes to the games themselves, the CEO has been criticized for making decisions that degrade the quality of titles, such as allowing the company to release yearly games like Call of Duty, which are loaded with aggressive microtransactions.
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