The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Activision Blizzard, Robert A. Kotick, better known as Bobby Kotick is also the head of several technology companies throughout his career. After purchasing a stake in Activision, he became the company’s CEO in 1990. From 2003-2008 he has been the director of Yahoo. In February 2012, he secured the position of a non-executive director of The Coco-Cola Company.
Bobby was born in 1963 in New York City, United States. A mind influenced by business developed at a very early age. He studied art history in the early 1980s from the University of Michigan.
While still being a student, at the University in 1983, Bobby started a tech company called Arktronics with his friend Howard Marks. The duo soon developed the software called AppleII. Later in that year, Kotick instigated Steve Wynn to invest in Arcktronics and the later invested around $300,000 in the company. Soon, Kotick left the University and made a joint-venture with Steve Jobs who had already heard about this Arktonics’ software and advised the latter to focus on the business.
Kotick tried to acquire Commodore International in 1987. He planned to turn the removed keyboard and disk drive from Amiga 500 to transform it into the first 16-bit video games system. Gradually, he purchased a controlling stake in Leisure Concepts, Nintendo’s licensing agent which was renamed 4Kids Entertainment.
Kotick and his partner Brian Kelly bought a stake of 25% in December 1990 in Media Genic, a software company founded as Activision in 1979. He focused Activision on video games. A life-changing event happened when Kotick became the CEO of Activision in February 1991. Six years from then, he made Activision land with 9 development studios and in 1995, the company launched its first video game that became a hit.
While being at Activision, Kotick always focused on its management and institutional quality by being an independent developer. He always felt that the flexibility of having one’s own company can give the privilege of deciding what’s right and what’s not for the company.
On 14th June 2010, Kotick stated in an interview with gaming blog, Kotaku that having a gaming studio under his own control helps him to take the right decision about who to hire, what products to manufacture, what schedules to list and what budget to formulate regarding them.
In the International Consumer Technologies, Bobby has served as a founder and had been its president from 1986 to 1995. Towards the end of 1995, he was successful in bringing the International Consumer Technologies a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision.
Kotick decided to merge his company with the games division of a French entertainment conglomerate, Vivendi in November 2006. This included media groups of Sierra Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment. Thus, the fusion of Blizzard into Activision came up with a new face of Activision Blizzard. Shareholders of this new company appointed Kotick as the combined CEO on 9th July 2008.
In June 2017, Kotick was reported to be the “the longest-serving head of any publicly traded tech company”. At present, his net worth is $30.1 million. He is the 21st most highly compensated CEO of the United States.