Who Is Bobby Kotick (Controversial CEO Of Activision Blizzard)?

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Bobby Kotick is best known for being the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Activision Blizzard. He came into the public limelight after the state of California investigated the company for its controversial work environment. Several reports also mentioned Bobby ignoring sexual-misconduct allegations at the company.

Bobby Kotick’s career

Kotick started his career at the University of Michigan, where he started a technology company called Arktronics. He founded the company with his friend Howard Marks in their dorm room, and the two developed software for Apple II.

During this time, he also met with Steve Jobs, who advised him to drop out of University to focus his time on his company. A few years later, Kotick bought a 25% stake in the almost-bankrupt company, Mediagenic (later renamed Activision). 

Activision Blizzard

Kotick became chairman and CEO of Activision in February 1991 after a year of purchasing a stake in the company. In 2000, he was also responsible for a merger between Activision and Vivendi Games, which owned Blizzard Entertainment.

After that, he became President and CEO of the combined company after the Activision-Blizzard merger. He served as President from July 2008 until June 2017.

Controversies

In late 2021, WSJ published a story that Bobby Kotick knew about sexual misconduct at the company and did nothing. The report also mentioned how Bobby has even protected high-level employees accused of sexual harassment.

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Because of this, Activision Blizzard employees staged a second walkout in four months and demanded his resignation. However, nothing happened, and Kotick is still the CEO of Activision Blizzard.

The company is already under investigation for sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and pay inequality in the workplace. Activision Blizzard employees have even protested multiple times to address these issues.

However, there’s been no concrete action by Kotick and the upper management. Instead, the company had applied anti-union tactics. Several women have also accused Kotick of mistreatment both inside and outside the workplace.

Fortunately, it seems that Kotick will only remain CEO until Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is complete. Both companies say Kotick will remain CEO through Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal year. However, according to financial documents, he could receive a severance package worth nearly $293 million.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our ‘Short Bytes’ and ‘Know Who’s Who‘ sections. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Nalin Rawat

Nalin Rawat

Just a big nerd for everything pop culture and geeky. In love with movies, comics, games, and awesome new gadgets. I have been writing about technology and gaming since college.

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