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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will depart Dec. 29 as Microsoft makes more Xbox exec changes

The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard logos

After Microsoft officially acquired game publisher Activision Blizzard in October, it was revealed that Activision's long-time CEO Bobby Kotick would stay on for a few more months to help with the transition. Today, it was revealed that Kotick's last day at the company will be Friday, December 29.

The Verge got a hold of an internal Microsoft memo that was sent out today from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer that revealed the departure date for Kotick. Spencer added:

Under Bobby’s watch, Activision Blizzard in its many incarnations has been an enduring pillar of video games. Whether it’s Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush Saga or any number of other titles, his teams have created beloved franchises and entertained hundreds of millions of players for decades. I’d like to thank Bobby—for his invaluable contributions to this industry, his partnership in closing the Activision Blizzard acquisition and his collaboration following the close—and I wish him and his family the very best in his next chapter.

Kotick also posted his own farewell message on Activision's blog, stating in part:

Forty years later, as my last day leading this company inches closer, I marvel at how far the talented people at our company have come toward realizing the great potential of games. You have transformed a hobbyist form of entertainment into the world’s most engaging medium. It has been the privilege of my lifetime to work alongside you as we broadened the appeal of games.

Spencer stated in the memo that the leadership team for Activision Publishing, Blizzard, and King will remain and there will be "no changes to the structure of how the studios and business units are run." The leadership for those three aspects of Activision Blizzard will report to Matt Booty, the recently named President of Game Content and Studios at Microsoft.

In a separate memo from Booty, he mentions that Jill Braff is the new head of ZeniMax/Bethesda Studios, and they will continue to operate as "limited integration entities" with Microsoft.

A number of other Activision Blizzard executives will be departing in March 2024, including Thomas Tippl, the Vice Chairman of Activision Blizzard. Others will be leaving in January and December 2023, including Humam Sakhnini, the Vice Chairman of Blizzard and King. Spencer stated:

We have an exciting 2024 lineup of games across Activision, Bethesda, Blizzard, King and Xbox Game Studios, and I know that we all look forward to sharing more details with our player communities when the time is right.

Hopefully one of those announcements will be adding older Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass.

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