Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. While the majority of conversations have been around Call of Duty exclusivity, it's unclear how Activision Blizzard will address the reports of toxic culture in the company until the Microsoft deal closes — pending regulatory approval — over the next year.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, a recent Fireside Chat meeting between current employees and head of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick was shorter than expected, and didn't reveal much about how the company plans on changing its culture. The outlet said the following.
The chat lasted for 16 minutes, despite being billed to employees as a half-hour conversation. Kotick was seven minutes late and wrapped up the conversation early, saying he believed completing the deal with Microsoft would be a great journey ... A Blizzard employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they are optimistic about the deal with Microsoft but remain wary of Kotick.
Reports like these seem to indicate that Kotick isn't ready to face his employees and openly talk about the issues plaguing Activision Blizzard. However, it seems like he'll leave once the deal goes through based on another quote from the Fireside Chat.
Once the deal closes, what I’ve committed to Microsoft is I will stay as long as is necessary to ensure that we have a great integration and a great transition.
Given the bad publicity that's surrounded the embattled Kotick for months now, Microsoft may want to distance themselves immediately from him once the deal finalizes sometime in late 2022 or early 2023. However, transitions are a tumultuous period and Microsoft will have to go through many hurdles to actually take over Activision Blizzard.