Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is stepping down from his role following a three-decade-long career. As Kotick retires, the former head leaves his fellow executives, including Activision publishing president Rob Kostich, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra, and vice chairman Thomas Tippl, under the oversight of Microsoft’s own game content and studios president Matt Booty.
Kotick’s eventual retirement first came to light in 2022 as the Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal did, with reports claiming that the CEO would depart once the proposed acquisition came to a close. It has now been two months since the completion of Activision Blizzard’s merger with Microsoft, and Kotick has just released a formal statement detailing his final day as an executive and his 32-year-long career at the company behind big RPG games such as Diablo 4.
He describes what sparked his passion for video games, including Atari 2600 classics and iconic computer text adventures like Mystery House. At this point, Kotick was envisioning “rich, vast worlds with all sorts of interactive, animated life that would enable players to fulfill their varied aspirations.”
Four decades later, Kotick says that the talented Activision Blizzard team has transformed this “hobbyist form of entertainment into the world’s most engaging medium.” He continues, stating that “throughout my 32 years leading this company,” he has aspired to “foster an environment that encourages inspiration, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence.”
As he retires, Kotick refers to the merger with Microsoft saying, “We are now part of the world’s most admired company.” As Microsft Gaming’s Phil Spencer first approached the departing CEO, Activision Blizzard saw the combination of businesses as one that “would enable us to continue to lead as the list of capable, well-resourced competitors grows.”
According to Kotick, Spencer shares Activision Blizzard’s values, and remains “passionate about our games and the people who make them.” As he steps down and fellow Activision Blizzard executives fall under the care of Microsoft’s Matt Booty, Kotick declares that the team “could not be in better hands.”
As The Verge reports, Microsoft sees other leadership changes at Activision Blizzard following Kotick’s departure. The company’s chief communications officer Lulu Meservey leaves in January, and the vice chairman Humam Sakhnini departs the team at the end of December. Vice chairman Thomas Tippl, now reporting to Booty, is also stepping down from Microsoft in March.
Other big changes include Booty’s announcement revealing Jill Braff as the new head of Bethesda Studios and ZeniMax. Previously, Braff led the studios’ game development teams. Jamie Leder, president of ZeniMax Media, will remain the company’s CEO.
While you wait to see what new projects come from each studio, you can have a look through a few of the most exciting upcoming PC games. If you prefer engaging with the all-time greats, you can alternatively check out the best PC games available to play right now. Activision Blizzard itself is behind a good few of our picks, such as Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft.