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Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick re-elected as CEO in midst of ongoing controversy

Kotick will continue to be the face of the company.

Ever since Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, stories about toxic workplace culture and mismanagement have spilled out — rightfully so. The controversy has seemingly done nothing to boot Bobby Kotick from his leadership position as CEO, and his seat was just reaffirmed by a shareholder vote. He was already said to be remaining in charge until Microsoft takes over, a statement that’s now been solidified.

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According to the company’s shareholder vote report (via Rock Paper Shotgun), Kotick was re-elected to his board position by nearly nine to one. There were dissenting votes of course, and at least one investment group actually recommended voting against Kotick earlier this year. Even so, the outcome keeps Kotick in his seat as the Microsoft merge moves forward. Progress there is “moving fast” according to Microsoft president Brad Smith.

While the vote may have gone in his favor, Kotick is still in hot water. New York City is suing Activision Blizzard, specifically targeting Kotick by claiming he’s rushing the Microsoft deal to escape culpability for the many controversies at the company. The fact that the deal is “moving fast” doesn’t look so good for him in that respect.

Kotick’s seat wasn’t the only recent affirmative vote from Activision Blizzard shareholders. The group also voted in favor of a public report on workplace discrimination. The company’s own internal investigation found no wrongdoing — go figure. Voting for a proper, external report of its actions is the least that can be done here.

There’s been some proper good news out of Activision Blizzard recently too. The QA team at Raven Software, known for its work on Call of Duty: Warzone, voted to form the first major video game union back in May. Next up for the union is negotiating its contract with Activision Blizzard at the top level, something that may be hindered by Bobby Kotick’s continued regime.

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Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.