Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is departing in December 2023

After three decades, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will depart the company.
bobby kotick activision blizzard

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is departing the company on 29 December 2023, an internal staff memo has revealed. While it was previously announced that Kotick would serve as CEO until the end of 2023, his next steps were unclear.

As revealed, Kotick will now officially depart Activision Blizzard, with his responsibilities being taken over by Matt Booty, President of Game Content and Studios at Microsoft. There will be a slight shuffle in reporting chains, but it appears other leadership positions within Activision Blizzard will remain in place.

“Under Bobby’s watch, Activision Blizzard in its many incarnations has been an enduring pillar of video games,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft Head of Gaming said of Kotick’s departure, per The Verge. “Whether it’s Call of DutyWorld 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.”

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“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.”

“With Bobby’s impending departure, we are taking the next step in aligning Activision Blizzard with Microsoft Gaming… For most of you, your day-to-day work will remain the same – it’s still business as usual in bringing more groundbreaking experiences to more players around the world.”

According to Spencer, Activision Blizzard will now prepare for a blockbuster year under Microsoft’s leadership, with “an exciting 2024 lineup of games” coming from Activision, Bethesda, Blizzard, King, and Xbox Game Studios.

For his part, Kotick has thanked his employees across multiple decades, praising their talent and how they transformed “a hobbyist form of entertainment” into “the world’s most engaging medium.” His departure from Activision Blizzard brings a 32-year tenure to a close.

“It has been the privilege of my lifetime to work alongside you as we broadened the appeal of games,” Kotick said, in an email to Activision Blizzard employees. “Perhaps the most important part of my job has been to help bring talented people together, provide the best resources possible, and foster an environment that encourages inspiration, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence.”

“As we move into our next exciting chapter, you could not be in better hands. I will always be profoundly grateful to the people who contributed tirelessly to building this company and I am confident you will keep inspiring joy and uniting people through the power of play.”

Kotick’s departure marks a turning point for Activision Blizzard, which will head into 2024 with fresh leadership, and a new perspective.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.