Microsoft has recently completed the restructuring of its executive leadership within the Xbox division following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In a move that has been confirmed through an internal memo by The Verge, the company has confirmed the departure of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. A memo from Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, thanks Mr. Kotick and reveals the reshaped leadership landscape meant to integrate Activision's senior management under the Microsoft Game Studios umbrella.
Upon taking control of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has opted for a broader distribution of responsibilities rather than appointing a direct replacement for CEO Bobby Kotick. Three executives, Mike Ybarra, President of Blizzard Entertainment; Rob Kostich, President of Activision Publishing; and Thomas Tippl, Vice Chairman of Activision Blizzard, are now reporting to Matt Booty, President of Game Content and Studios at Microsoft.
This realignment has been positioned to maintain continuity within Activision's existing upper management, opting for stability over immediate radical change. Despite some notable shifts, including the exits of Communications Officer Lulu Meservey and Vice Chairman Humam Sakhnini, the overarching goal has been to preserve as much of the current executive structure as practical.
Reflecting on the changes, Spencer reassured employees that the everyday workings of the company are expected to persist unaffected—for the majority, it's “business as usual.” At the leadership tier, these transitions are being implemented to clarify roles and responsibilities, supporting Microsoft's ambitious objectives while nurturing a more inclusive, empowering corporate culture.
Among those staying until March 2024 to aid with the transition are Activision Blizzard's Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao, Chief People Officer Julie Hodges, CFO Armin Zerza, and Chief Legal Officer Grant Dixton, all of whom will be reporting to their respective counterparts in Microsoft's Games division.
To enthuse both employees and consumers, Spencer lauded the planned 2024 lineup of games hailing from the combined forces of Activision, Bethesda, Blizzard, King, and Xbox Game Studios, asserting that further details will be disclosed to the player communities when appropriate.
Bobby Kotick's widely expected departure follows a series of personal and corporate controversies that have surrounded the CEO, including workplace harassment allegations. Now under the full control of Microsoft, the optimism within the company is palpable, as this major industry realignment has set the stage for what appears to be a vigorous year ahead in the realm of gaming.