Over the last year, Activision Blizzard has been dealing with a series of internal disasters, including a major lawsuit brought on by the state of California, alleging misconduct and management issues throughout the company. With Activision Blizzard now set to become part of Microsoft, the company is keeping a close eye on the situation to ensure “the right people” are in charge once ownership changes hands.
Microsoft initially danced around the subject of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and the other allegations made against current CEO, Bobby Kotick. That is starting to change now though, with Microsoft announcing plans to keep major franchises multiplatform, and now, publicly addressing on-going concerns with current management at the company.
Speaking with CNBC this week (via VGC), Microsoft's Vice Chairman, Brad Smith, confirmed that the company is looking at Activision Blizzard's current leadership team and will make changes where necessary to ensure it has “the right people in the right position” when the company merges with Microsoft.
“We're looking to the leadership team at Activision Blizzard today to make culture and workplace safety a top priority every single day, until the day when this deal hopefully closes. And then we'll take over and we need to make that same commitment. There will be some aspects that will change but it will all be one new team that will work together,” he continued. “Most importantly, we want to see the culture evolve, and we'll see how people perform between now and the day this closes, assuming it's approved. And then we'll have the opportunity to make sure that we have the right people in the right position.”
Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by the state of California over allegations of harassment and a “frat boy culture” within the company's teams. Additional allegations of mismanagement, harassment and more have also been levied against Bobby Kotick, sparking protests throughout Activision Blizzard, in addition to increased efforts amongst developers to unionise.
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KitGuru Says: We are already expecting to see Kotick step down once Microsoft takes over, but there could be more changes throughout various studios at Activision Blizzard. Of course, all of this is pending regulatory approvals. Currently, Microsoft expects to close the acquisition in the first half of 2023.