Technology

Activision Blizzard CEO Could Make $15 Million If Fired; understand

After the purchase by Microsoft, some things are about to change within the Activision Blizzard — starting with the leadership of King, a business division focused on mobile games. The developer’s subsidiary announced this Wednesday (23) that it will promote a musical chairs where the current president Humam Sakhnini will be replaced by Tjodolf Sommestad.

What about Bobby Kotick and the $15 million?

While the changes are still focused on King, there’s one question many want to answer: what will happen to Bobby Kotick? The company’s current CEO — and whose legacy has many recent controversies — can still be fired, of course. But information contained in the recent document released by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brings a new argument to speculation about whether or not the executive leaves the company.

Under the terms of the agreement between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, there is a clause stating that if he is fired (read “dismissed without fair”), Kotick must receive $15 million in compensation.

With all the controversy surrounding the CEO, many expected his dismissal to be carried out as soon as the negotiation was closed. But, with this addendum, it is possible that the company’s Board wants to extend the contract with the executive beyond March 2023.

On top of that, Kotick could also receive a stock bonus of up to $22 million in July this year, as part of an agreement with the company’s board that encompasses implementing improvements to the company’s culture and workplace (which are currently considered toxic to women).

Among the main actions imposed as part of the improvement program are: zero tolerance against harassment and an increase in the hiring of women and non-binary people.

Back to King musical chairs

Since Kotick’s departure should still bring a lot of discussion for the next few months, the way is to focus on what has already been made official for King.

According to an official statement from the company, Humam Sakhnini leaves the position of president after six years at the helm of the company and 12 years working within Activision Blizzard. With the move, Tjodolf Sommestad takes over immediately, while Sakhnini will accompany him in the transition until the end of March, when he is due to return to the US with his family.

“Tjodolf is an exceptional leader who has played a pivotal role in driving the continued growth and development of our mobile game franchises,” said Daniel Alegre, president and COO of Activision Blizzard, in a statement.

The executive believes that “the vast experience in innovation, technology and game development” that the new president has will directly contribute to the growth of the mobile business.

Sommestad has been with King for over a decade, most recently serving as Chief Development Officer and previously as Senior Vice President of the Candy Crush franchise.

Another departing executive is Sebastian Knutsson, the company’s co-founder and currently responsible for the position of creative director. He will leave both the leadership of the team and the business itself to dedicate himself to philanthropy.

Via: Reuters and Games Industry.

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