Almost two years since the deal was announced, on Friday Microsoft finally closed its $68.7 billion merger with Activision Blizzard.
Kotick will report to Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer.
“I have long said that I am fully committed to helping with the transition,” Kotick said in an email to Activision Blizzard employees today.
“Phil has asked me to stay on as CEO of ABK, reporting to him, and we have agreed that I will do that through the end of 2023. We both look forward to working together on a smooth integration for our teams and players.”
Kotick was CEO of Activision from February 1991 until July 2008, when he became CEO of Activision Blizzard in connection with the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games.
He is the sole Activision Blizzard executive to hold change-of-control protection that would reward him financially in the event that he’s replaced following a takeover.
As a major shareholder, Kotick is in line to make hundreds of millions of dollars from the deal. He’s also entitled to a severance payment if his contract is terminated or he leaves under various circumstances within a year of a change of control at the company.
While he has helped steer Activision Blizzard to great commercial heights during his tenure, Kotick’s reputation—and that of the company—has suffered greatly in recent years following several scandals, including allegations that executives intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay reported instances of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.