Bobby Kotick’s all-hands meeting has employees wondering if layoffs are coming

Bobby Kotick held a video all-hands meeting this morning to discuss the recent news that Microsoft is purchasing Activision Blizzard, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The video was named “Fireside Chat,” where Kotick talked about the future of the company, what will happen during the transition, and answered questions from employees. Kotick reinforced that he’ll be staying on as CEO up until the deal closes and “would do so longer if needed to ensure a smooth transition.”

One comment made during the video call has employees worried about impending layoffs. “The transition is going to be smooth because [Microsoft is] committed to trying to retain as many of our people as possible,” Kotick said. After the call, Activision Blizzard employees told the Washington Post that they were worried the comment implied that layoffs were going to happen soon.

During the rest of the call, Kotick reportedly joked about not having to switch over to Microsoft Teams and also talked about job security, compensation changes, and Microsoft’s business strategies in regard to gaming.

Despite employees being told that the conversation with Kotick would last one half-hour, he reportedly arrived seven minutes late to the call and wrapped up the conversation just 16 minutes into the meeting. He ended by saying that he “believed completing the deal with Microsoft would be a great journey.”

One of the employees who spoke with the Washington Post expressed optimism in the Microsoft deal but still remains apprehensive about Kotick’s involvement until then.

“All the fear and anger felt is still tied up in Bobby Kotick and what harm he will inflict until the torch is passed to Microsoft,” the employee told the Washington Post. “He likened Activision to be as important as his children and I feel like he will not let go of it. With no mention of the strike, the lawsuit, or any of the continuing issues, there may as well have not been a Q&A at all. We could’ve read a press release and slept an extra 15 minutes.”

The purchase of Activision Blizzard will take a while to complete as it goes through various regulatory screenings. It’s expected to close in June 2023 if all goes according to plan.