The Bobby Kotick Activision merger situation still seems liquid, as the company has re-iterated that his future position at the company is undecided as of April 2022.
While many assumed that Kotick would bow out or be forced out when the merger was announced, months later, it doesn’t appear to be a given. As reported by Stephen Totilo of Axios, Activision added a line to its SEC filing for the merger detailing the situation with Kotick, noting:
“No discussions or negotiations regarding post-closing employment arrangements with Microsoft occurred between Microsoft and Mr. Kotick prior to the approval and execution of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, or have occurred subsequent to such approval and execution, through the date thereof.”
As many pundits have pointed out, this is merely a legal formality, and Kotick should be removed after the merger is complete, but there is no such avenue for that yet outside of assumption. There are no doubt many legal hurdles to climb, including the implementation of the classic “if you just resign with a hefty bonus, this will be easier ” tactic. But who knows how Kotick’s mind works and what deal he might be able to work out eventually.
The craziest part of all this is how Kotick gambled with the court of public opinion, and allegedly declared to management that he would “resign” if he couldn’t clean up the mess that the company caused its employees. Since then we’ve seen numerous missteps from the Activision team, as more and more damning facts come out from the case. All this ongoing situation has done is create strife for current employees, when proper leadership could have helped right the ship. It’s just a bad situation, and a stain on Activision and Blizzard management’s image going forward.