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Bobby Kotick’s Goodbye Letter Calls Xbox ‘The World’s Most Admired Company’

We knew that Activision Blizzard’s longtime CEO, Bobby Kotick, would be stepping down at the end of this year following Microsoft’s historic acquisition of his company—but we didn’t know that he’d officially leave on the last workday of 2023, technically two days before the end of the year. This tidbit was one of several from a letter he posted today.

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Kotick, who has been mired in controversy for many of the 32 years he’s been at ActiBlizz’s helm, penned a goodbye letter to employees on Wednesday, December 20, and officially announced his last day will be December 29 (the final workday of 2023, he’s not a weekend warrior). Titled “Bobby Kotick: With gratitude,” the letter is addressed to “extraordinary people” and begins with Kotick’s history as a capital “G” Gamer.

He continues, praising the hard work of the very sameActivision Blizzard employees who accused him of contributing to the creation of a workplace environment that included sexual harassment and discrimination—accusations that he has loudly and vehemently denied. Back in 2021, Kotick toyed with the idea of quitting if he couldn’t “fix” the company culture, but ultimately decided to stay on and keep cashing his paycheck. It’s unclear if the company culture was ever fixed, but that comment came the same week he admitted to penning a tone-deaf, company-wide email that prompted a staff-wide walkout.

Later, Kotick’s letter calls Microsoft / Xbox the “world’s most admired company,” and says the major acquisition (which the FTC attempted to block) wasn’t “an accident.” He then turns his attention to Xbox CEO Phil Spencer, though, as The Verge reports, head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty will oversee operations at ActiBlizz going forward.

It’s unclear how Microsoft will handle ActiBlizz’s recent return-to-office mandate for remote QA testers, who are calling the stance a “soft layoff.” 

As for Kotick’s departure, I’ll quote my late grandfather Pasquale Cestaro: “You don’t gotta go home, but you gotta go.”

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