In a groundbreaking shift for the gaming industry, Activision Blizzard enters 2024 without a CEO following the departure of Bobby Kotick on December 29, 2023. This move comes after Microsoft acquired the gaming giant for a substantial $68.7 billion, finalised on October 13, 2023.
Rather than appointing a new CEO, Microsoft has designated Matt Booty, President of Microsoft Game Content and Studios, to oversee Activision Blizzard’s executive team. Key figures under Booty’s direction include Blizzard President Mike Ybarra, Activision Publishing President Rob Kostich, and Activision Blizzard Vice Chair Thomas Tippl, as reported by The Verge.
In an internal memo, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer expressed gratitude to Kotick, acknowledging his pivotal role in creating enduring gaming franchises. “Earlier today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick formally announced that Friday, December 29th, 2023, will be his last day at Microsoft Gaming.”
Despite Kotick’s departure, Spencer assured the gaming community that the leadership teams for Activision Publishing, Blizzard, and King would remain unchanged, maintaining the current operational structure. However, some executive-level departures are expected in the coming months as part of the ongoing transition process, including Activision Blizzard Chief Communications Officer Lulu Meservey and Blizzard and King Vice Chairman Humam Sakhnini.
“Under Bobby’s watch, Activision Blizzard, in its many incarnations, has been an enduring pillar of video games. Whether it’s Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush Saga, or any number of other titles, his teams have created beloved franchises and entertained hundreds of millions of players for decades. I’d like to thank Bobby—for his invaluable contributions to this industry, his partnership in closing the Activision Blizzard acquisition, and his collaboration following the close—and I wish him and his family the very best in his next chapter.”
With the acquisition finalised, Microsoft is poised to expand its gaming segment, sparking speculation about the potential inclusion of Activision Blizzard’s games in the Xbox Game Pass. As the gaming community eagerly awaits further details, questions also arise regarding the fate of Activision Blizzard’s esports division, particularly the Overwatch League, following the completion of its latest season.
This transition marks a significant chapter in the gaming industry, with Microsoft at the helm of one of its most influential entities. As the gaming landscape evolves under new leadership, enthusiasts and industry insiders alike eagerly anticipate announcements from Microsoft that will shape the future of beloved gaming franchises and the esports scene. Stay tuned for more updates as the story unfolds.