While it has still to be definitively confirmed whether this is actually the case, Fox Business now claims Kotick will stay as CEO if the deal breaks down.
The publication claims that, according to “sources close to the situation”, Kotick “will absolutely remain at the gaming giant to run the company” should regulators derail the planned takeover.
Despite reports suggesting that Kotick is expected to leave Activision Blizzard once the deal is done, the company claimed in a report to shareholders in April 2022 that Kotick hadn’t discussed his plans before the acquisition announcement, and still hadn’t up to that point.
“No discussions or negotiations regarding post-closing employment arrangements with Microsoft occurred between Microsoft and Mr Kotick prior to the approval and the execution of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby, or have occurred subsequent to such approval and execution, through the date hereof,” the report claimed.
Should he be terminated following Microsoft’s acquisition, Kotick could be in line to receive hundreds of millions of dollars.
Kotick had come under fire following a November 2021 report by the Wall Street Journal, which alleged that he was aware of multiple sexual misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard and was enabling a toxic workplace culture at the company.
Before Microsoft announced that it planned to buy Activision Blizzard, around 1900 of its approximately 10,000 employees signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign – something he reportedly told senior managers he would be willing to do if he couldn’t “quickly fix” the culture problems at the company.
Kotick has generally been quiet since the proposed acquisition was announced, but spoke out earlier this week to warn the UK’s Competition and Market Authority that blocking the deal would be a major blow to the UK government’s ambition of becoming a technology superpower.
In a subsequent interview with the Financial Times, he then accused Sony of “trying to sabotage” Microsoft’s takeover of the company and claimed that PlayStation chief Jim Ryan has “stopped talking” to both.