Microsoft wants “the right people in the right jobs” when it takes over Activision Blizzard
Microsoft said it will take a close look at Activision Blizzard’s leadership to ensure it makes “workplace culture and safety a top priority every day” and then it will take over and take the “same commitment”.
Speaking to CNBC (thanks, VGC), Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company wants to see the culture change at Activision Blizzard and “will see how people behave” by the time the deal closes. acquisition of the company.
“I think if there’s one thing we’ve learned about solving issues like sexual harassment or almost any culture issue for people, it really takes a combination of commitment and humility,” Smith said. “You have to commit to making things better.
“You know, we’re counting on the leadership team at Activision Blizzard today to make workplace culture and safety a top priority every day, until the day this deal hopefully closes. And then we will take over and we will have to make the same commitment.
“But I also think humility matters. The day you think you’re done, the day you think you can declare victory is probably the day you sacrifice the very values you hope to promote.”
Smith also said of the current management team that while some aspects will change, it will be “a new team working together.”
“Most importantly, we want to see the culture evolve, and we’ll see how people behave by the day this ends, assuming it’s approved, and then we’ll have the opportunity to make sure we have the right people in the right position.
When asked if certain leadership positions or other staff were currently under surveillance, Smith replied that he believed “we should all live in a world where we are under surveillance”.
Speaking of management, it’s currently unknown if Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will stick around for the long haul.
At one point, he said he would quit if issues of sexual harassment, discrimination and broader cultural issues at the company were not “resolved quickly”. Kotick reportedly made the comment during a meeting with executives in November.
When the $68.7 billion acquisition was announced, it was revealed that Kotick would retain his position as CEO of Activision Blizzard while he and his team continued to “deploy efforts to further strengthen the culture of business and accelerate business growth”. But, it’s also been rumored that once the ink dries, the Activision Blizzard business will report directly to former Xbox boss and now Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer.
According to Kotick himself, when the deal with Microsoft was announced, the beleaguered CEO said he would be “available as needed” to make sure everything went smoothly. He declined to say whether or not he would stick to his position once the deal is done.
Many think it’s highly likely that Kotick won’t stick around.