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Activision-Blizzard CEO receives a payout of $ 390 million

Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will walk away with a $ 390 million check following Microsoft's acquisition of his gaming company - just two months after employees demanded his dismissal because of the company's alleged culture of sexual misconduct.

Kotick, 58, who is expected to leave Activision-Blizzard after the deal closes sometime next year, on Tuesday agreed to sell his company to Microsoft in a $ 75 billion cash deal.

The vast majority of his $ 390 million payout will come from the 3.95 million shares he owns, according to securities.

As Kotick does not own any unqualified shares, he will not be entitled to a change of control.

Kotick is said to be worth an estimated $ 870 million, according to Forbes.

The software giant's acquisition of the Santa Monica-based game studio, which has produced hits such as Candy Crush, Call of Duty and Guitar Hero, will make it the third-largest online gaming company behind Tencent and Sony.

Microsoft's official announcement of the acquisition, the largest in the history of the technology giant, did not mention Kotick.

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO - JULY 6: Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 6, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.  After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world's most wealthy and powerful business people from media, finance and technology will meet at Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)
Payday comes just two months after Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick's employees staged a strike that demanded his dismissal in the wake of claims that the company enabled a toxic workplace culture.
Getty Images

Kotick, which has been helping Activision-Blizzard since 1991 after leading a group of investors to buy the company, will continue through the transition.

When the deal is finalized in 2023, "the Activision-Blizzard company will report to Microsoft's game director Phil Spencer," a Microsoft spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.

Kotick told the Journal on Tuesday that he "will always be available to ensure we get the very best integration." He declined to comment on his future status.

The Microsoft agreement ends a tumultuous period for Activision-Blizzard. In recent months, the company has been investigated for its alleged malpractice of complaints related to reported cases of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Last July, the company was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing after a two-year investigation found alleged cases of harassment, discrimination and a toxic workplace culture.

The investigation accused the company of tolerating a "frat bridge" culture that included rape jokes, rude comments and groping. A female employee who should have been abused died by suicide.

Kotick admitted last summer that the company was "tone deaf" in its response to California's lawsuit.

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 10: Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 10, 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho.  Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful business people from the media, finance and technology spheres meet at Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive week-long conference.  (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Kotick, which has been at the helm of Activision-Blizzard since 1991, will step down as CEO when the sale to Microsoft is completed sometime next year.
Getty Images

In November, dozens of his employees staged a strike and demanded that the board remove Kotick after it was learned that the CEO had known about the company's office culture for years.

In 2006, Kotick is alleged to have harassed one of his assistants before threatening to have her killed. A spokesman for the company said Kotick "quickly apologized" for what was described as an "obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voicemail."


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