Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to step down towards end of year

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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will officially be stepping down from the company on December 29, 2023. As part of Kotick’s impending departure, widespread changes will be made accordingly to the organization’s structure, with Activision Blizzard Vice Chairman Thomas Tippl, Activision Publishing President Rob Kostich, Blizzard President Mike Ybarra, and King President Tjodolf Sommestad to report to Microsoft Game Content and Studios President Matt Booty. A replacement for Kotick has yet to be named.

Following the completion of the Xbox and Activision Blizzard deal, Kotick’s departure from Activision Blizzard was confirmed through an internal email sent to company employees wherein he said: “Forty years later, as my last day leading this company inches closer, I marvel at how far the talented people at our company have come toward realizing the great potential of games.” “It has been the privilege of my lifetime to work alongside you as we broadened the appeal of games,” he continued.

Kotick added that the Activision Blizzard organization “could not be in better hands” with Phil Spencer, “who has appreciated the magic of ABK for decades.” Spencer would later reveal Kotick’s last day at the company in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. The Microsoft Gaming CEO then listed further organizational changes, with Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao, Chief People Officer Julie Hodges, and Chief Legal Officer Grant Dixton set to report to their Microsoft Gaming counterparts.

Activision Blizzard Chief Communications Officer Lulu Meservey, and Blizzard and King Vice Chairman Humam Sakhnini will also leave the company at the end of January and December, respectively. Communications General Manager Kari Perez will be supported by Meservey on a leadership transition plan for the ABK communication team until the latter’s departure in the new year. A replacement for Sakhnini has not been tapped at the time of writing.

A separate internal memo from Microsoft Game Content and Studios President Matt Booty (per The Verge) announced that Jill Braff will now be “Head of the ZeniMax/Bethesda studios.” Studio executives Todd Howard, Todd Vaughn, Matt Firor, Paul Jensen, and Heather Cooper will all report to Braff. Jamie Leder will continue in his role as CEO of ZeniMax/Bethesda, reporting to Matt Booty.

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