Report: Vivendi Considered Firing Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

July 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Bloomberg report there was a serious discussion by Vivendi executives whether they should fire Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. That discussion happened last May while they were discussing selling Vivendi's stake back to Activision. The info comes from translated emails that are part of a June court filing alleging that Kotick threatened to quit if directors didn't allow him to lead a group that helped buy out most of Vivendi's stock for $8.2 billion.

"Activision's board of directors supports the ongoing leadership of the company by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly, who are the most effective executives in the interactive entertainment industry," company spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif told Polygon via email. "The recent transaction restructuring the company's ownership has received widespread market support."

The lawsuit was filed by Activision shareholder Anthony Pacchia and others, who allege that Kotick and his group violated their duties to shareholders by "approving a self-dealing and unfair transaction."

The emails reveal that Vivendi's then chief financial officer and Activision chairman Philippe Capron offered to fire Kotick "happily. Tomorrow if you want." Vivendi general counsel Frederic Crepin wrote in an email that he thought Kotick was betting that the company wouldn't "dare" let him go. Richard Sarnoff, one of Activision's independent directors, said he would help if Vivendi decided to fire Kotick.

Obviously none of that transpired and Kotick's $8.2 billion deal ended up going through.

A judge in Delaware ruled last month that Kotick and Activision chairman Brian Kelly must face the claims filed by Pacchia.

Source: Polygon


 
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