Earlier today, Microsoft announced it will buy the video game publisher Activision Blizzard in a $69 billion deal. It’s the largest video game acquisition in history and will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, when and if the deal closes. According to Insider, citing a report from the Wall Street Journal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is expected to leave the company once the deal closes. From the report: Those sources said that both Microsoft and Activision have agreed that Kotick “will depart once the deal closes,” which could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. That’s in stark contrast to what Microsoft said in its press release on Tuesday morning. “Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard,” the release said, “and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.”
Kotick reportedly knew for years about a variety of claims of sexual harassment and rape at his company. An investigation by the Wall Street Journal detailed several specific examples of harassment and rape at Activision. Kotick was not only aware of those claims but, in a least one instance, reportedly intervened to keep a male staffer who was accused of sexual harassment despite the company’s human resources department recommending he be fired.