Tycoon businessman and CEO of Activision, Bobby Kotick, nearly got knocked out of the game last year. All this because of a ‘demands’ dispute on his side. He wanted to be in charge of an investment group that was planning to buyout the Vevendi publisher. Afterall, he’d back himself a decent share of the $8.2 Billion deal that was concluded in October last year. It goes without saying that Kotick always gets his way.
The CEO of Vivendi at the time, Jean-Francois Dubos, emailed the following according to a Bloomberg report:
I really wonder who’s going to fire him
Whereby then Vivendi CFO and Activision chairman, Philippe Capron, replied
Myself, happily. Tomorrow if you want.
Since then the CEO started up ASAC II LP that purchased 172 million Activision shares from Vivendi. This payed out a staggering $2.34 billion along with the $5.83 billion purchase of 429 million shares. The report suggested that Kotick kicked up a stink and threatened to leave if the deal went through without his group getting a piece of the action.
Things just got uglier from there onwards.
Anthony Pacchia, a shareholder, is now suing Bobby Kotick along with Activision Chairman, Brain Kelly, because he believes they wrongfully benefited from the acquisition. According to him Kotick purposely led a group that bought Activision shares at a ‘below-market’ discounted rate.
He continues his ‘suing’ form and is now also after Vervendi for allowing the transaction to take place in the first place, calling it, “a self-dealing and unfair transaction”.
How does Activision’s board of directors feel about this all? This is what the spokeswoman said:
[The board] supports the ongoing leadership of the company by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly. [They] are the most effective executives in the interactive entertainment industry.
There really is very little on this earth that money can’t buy it seems.