Activision CEO Almost Fired Over Vivendi Buyout


It looks like when Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick was handling buying out most of the Vivendi stake in the video game company he was running, a great deal of his colleagues wanted him out of his job. According to Bloomberg, the CEO of Vivendi and a chairman for Activision did not appreciate that Kotick’s purchasing group were trying to purchase 25% of Vivendi’s stock in Activision at a discount price, allowing the purchasing group to retain World of Warcraft rights without paying a hefty amount for its valuation.

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“I really wonder who’s going to fire him,” Vivendi’s CEO remarked in an email, quoted in the filing. “Myself, happily. Tomorrow if you want,” replied the Activision chairman. A great deal of their frustration was over Robert Kotick’s insistence that the deal over the purchasing stake of Vivendi would have to involve his financial group, or else he had allegedly threaten to quit.

Robert Kotick didn’t quit, and he wasn’t fired, and he still maintains his position within Activision that he’s held since 1991, but I still find it fairly fascinating over the Wall Street-esque corporate politics that go on even within the highest levels of the gaming industry. If we’re only hearing about this kind of pseudo-conflict of interest now, I can’t imagine what else is going on behind close doors at other gaming publishers that could be ripe for a movie.

The case is ongoing, as shareholder Anthony Pacchia has filed a lawsuit over the proceedings. Things could get even more interesting from here, as those within Activision may be set to fling mud at each other via future litigation.


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