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Bobby Kotick Finally Departing Activision Blizzard

Microsoft announced that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is finally stepping down, effective December 29. He is not the only high-profile departure, though Microsoft intends to leave most of the company’s management in place.  

Activision Blizzard executives will answer to Xbox’s Matt Booty

As The Verge reported, Phil Spencer announced the leadership changes in an internal memo. Rather than appointing a new CEO, the conglomerate is incorporating upper management into Microsoft’s corporate hierarchy. Activision Blizzard Vice Chairman Thomas Tippl, Activision Publishing President Rob Kostich, Blizzard Entertainment President Mike Ybarra, and King President Tjodolf Sommestad will report to Matt Booty, Microsoft President of Game Content and Studios.

Microsoft appointed Booty in October to oversee Bethesda Softworks and the ZeniMax Media studios. These include Bethesda Game Studio, Arkane Studios, id Software, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Games, and Roundhouse Studio. While Jamie Leder retained his position as CEO of ZeniMax, Microsoft appointed Booty to prevent a repeat of Redfall’s disastrous launch. This latest management shakeup puts him in charge of all Xbox, ZeniMax, and Activision Blizzard Studios.

Other Activision Blizzard executives will retain their positions but now answer to different Microsoft departments. However, Kotick isn’t the only high-profile departure. Blizzard and King Vice Chairman Humam Sakhnini is also leaving at the end of December. Meanwhile, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer Lulu Meservey is leaving at the end of January.

In addition to the changes at Activision Blizzard, Matt Booty also announced Jill Braff as Head of the ZeniMax/Bethesda studios. She will oversee the development side, with Todd Howard, Product Development VP Todd Vaughn, Matt Firor, Paul Jensen, and Heather Cooper reporting to her. Additionally, ZeniMax’s QA and Release Management heads now answer to Vaughn.

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