Update: 12:30 p.m. EST
The Wall Street Journal updated its original story about the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition and said its sources believe Kotick will leave the company once the deal is completed. The expectation is that the deal will be finalized by June 2023, which means Kotick will remain Activision Blizzard CEO at least until that point.
As yet, neither Microsoft nor Activision Blizzard have verified this aspect of the report.
Update: 11:45 a.m. EST
New York Times reporter Karen Weise said they spoke with Kotick about his future following the Microsoft acquisition. Kotick said "Post close, I will be available as needed." While that doesn't clarify what role Kotick will actually fill once Activision reports to Phil Spencer as CEO, it does suggest Xbox isn't severing ties with the controversial figure completely.
Bobby Kotick is seemingly retaining his position as Activision Blizzard CEO following Microsoft's acquisition of the Call of Duty developer. The Activision investor site posted an announcement in tandem with Microsoft's own with a brief mention about the matter.
"Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, and he and his team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company's culture and accelerate business growth," the statement reads. "Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming."
What the statement doesn't mention is what capacity Kotick will be acting in once Activision Blizzard begins reporting to Spencer - if any.
Bobby Kotick Will Remain as Activision Blizzard CEO Following Microsoft Acquisition
Kotick has faced extensive backlash since the state of California first brought suit against the company for harassment and discrimination in July 2021.
Since then, the ABK Workers Alliance and others have called for Kotick's resignation on account his alleged mismanagement of internal reforms, including hiring controversial law firm WilmerHale to conduct company reviews, and continued harassment of workers.
The Activision Blizzard board of directors expressed continued confidence in Kotick's ability to lead the company, despite reports surfacing that Kotick covered up sexual abuse claims in the years leading up to the lawsuit.