On July 5, 2022, shares of Activision Blizzard increased 0.38% to $78.87. It was Activision’s second day of gains as it outperformed some of its competitors, including Sony, which fell 1.11%. This increase came less than two weeks after a majority of Activision Blizzard shareholders voted in favor of reelecting CEO Bobby Kotick.
At the annual stockholders meeting, held on June 21, the shareholders reelected 10 directors, including Kotick, to the board. In addition, approximately 91% agreed to extend the current board until the next meeting in 2023, while 95% opposed adding an employee representative to the board.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Has Shareholder Support
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard through a $68.7 billion all-cash deal. Reports suggested that Kotick might walk away from the company once the deal is finalized. However, it appears that Kotick has the full support and confidence of the board and will be leading the Call of Duty maker into 2023.
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, who was rumored to be in line to replace Kotick as CEO, hopes to revive some of the beloved vintage video games in the Activision archives if the merger successfully happens, which is expected by June 2023. “We’re hoping that we’ll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood and that the teams want to get,” he says.
Kotick has been involved with the company since he bought Activision in 1990 and became the CEO a year later. He credits “maniacal focus” for helping to triumphantly transform it into the gaming giant it is today. He told CNBC’s Becky Quick, “There was a moment in time where we had a very large shareholder that was a French company. It was Vivendi. It was my first board meeting there, and they asked the same question: What is it that you’ve done to be able to sustain and grow the business for this long period of time that other video game companies have been unable to do? And the chairman of the company was a terrifically charismatic guy, and he said: ‘Bobby, can you please tell those board members how you make the success over this long time?’ So I said: ‘Well, it’s not that complicated. We are ruthless prioritizers of opportunity; we don’t get distracted; we know what our business is; we find the best talent, and we make sure that we keep our talent focused and not distracted, and we really do a great job of prioritization.’ So, you know, that’s sort of the secret to our success.”
The shareholders left that day impressed by Kotick’s drive. But, he says, “I don’t think I really spent a lot of time thinking about anything other than how we were going to make great games and figure out how to get the biggest audiences to actually play them. And we’re always mindful of our responsibilities to our stakeholders, gamers, and shareholders.”
Continuing a Legacy of Great Games
Today Kotick’s corporation has more than 10,000 employees working in studios located worldwide, and he’s excited about the future of the industry and Activision Blizzard. “As we continue on our journey to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, we will eventually do so as part of Microsoft. I am certain that our incredible talent and extraordinary games combined with our shared commitment to the very best workplace will enable us to grow in an increasingly more competitive race for leadership as gaming through the metaverse,” Kotick shared in an email to Activision Blizzard employees. “When you reflect on what we’ve built together, we have so much to be proud of. For the last 31 years, we’ve continuously shaped gaming through our commitment to deliver joy, fun, and the thrill of accomplishment.” Activision is responsible for many of the most popular gaming franchises of all time, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot, Candy Crush Saga, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Diablo.