Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will leave the company on December 29 after 32 years, and remaining Activision Blizzard executives including Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Ybarra, Activision Publishing President Rob Kostich and Activision Blizzard vice president Thomas Tippl, will be overseen by Microsoft Gaming. and studio president Matt Booty.
In addition to Kotick, Blizzard Entertainment and King Vice President Humam Sakhnini will also leave the company at the end of December, and Activision Blizzard Communications Director Lulu Meservey will leave at the end of January 2024.
Executives who will remain on board through March 2024 include managing director Brian Bulatao, chief people officer Julie Hodges, chief legal officer Grant Dixon and chief financial officer Armin Zerza.
Here’s Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer’s full memo on the transition, via The edge:
Earlier today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick formally announced that Friday, December 29, 2023 will be his last day at Microsoft Gaming. Under Bobby’s leadership, Activision Blizzard in its many incarnations has been an enduring pillar of gaming. Whether it’s Obligations, world of warcraft, candy Crush Saga, or any other title, its teams have created beloved franchises and entertained hundreds of millions of players for decades. I would like to thank Bobby (for his invaluable contributions to this industry, his partnership in closing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and his collaboration after the closing) and wish him and his family the best in their future. next chapter.
With Bobby’s imminent departure, we are taking the next step to align Activision Blizzard with Microsoft Gaming, making the following organizational changes:
- Thomas Tippl (Vice President of Activision Blizzard), Rob Kostich (President of Activision Publishing), Mike Ybarra (President of Blizzard Entertainment) and Tjodolf Sommestad (President of King) will report to Matt Booty (President of Games and Studio Content). The leadership teams at Activision Publishing, Blizzard and King will remain in place, with no changes to the structure of how the studios and business units are managed.
- Brian Bulatao (Chief Administrative Officer) will report to Dave McCarthy (Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Gaming).
- Julie Hodges (Chief People Officer) will report to Cynthia Per-Lee (Corporate Vice President, Gaming Human Resources).
- Grant Dixton (Chief Legal Officer) will report to Linda Norman (Corporate Vice President, Gaming CELA).
- Armin Zerza (Chief Financial Officer) will continue to report to Tim Stuart (Corporate Vice President of Finance), as we previously announced to the Finance team in October.
- Thomas, Brian, Julie, Grant and Armin will continue to help us with the transition until March 2024.
- Lulu Meservey (executive vice president of corporate affairs and chief communications officer) will leave ABK at the end of January. She agreed to support Kari Pérez (General Manager of Communications) in a leadership transition plan for ABK’s Communications team, which will report to Kari. Additionally, Humam Sakhnini (VP of Blizzard and King) will depart at the end of December. We thank Humam and Lulu for their leadership over the past year.
For most of you, your daily job will remain the same: business as usual, delivering more innovative experiences to more players around the world. At the leadership level, these changes will provide the clarity and accountability needed to achieve our ambitious goals and foster a culture that is welcoming, empowering and committed to Games for All. We have an exciting lineup of games coming in 2024 from Activision, Bethesda, Blizzard, King, and Xbox Game Studios, and I know we’re all looking forward to sharing more details with our gaming communities when the time is right.