Ex-CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, Reportedly Eyes TikTok Purchase

Reports suggest that Bobby Kotick, former CEO of Activision Blizzard who resigned last year, is considering the acquisition of TikTok amidst a new US bill that could potentially ban or coerce the sale of the app. Kotick reportedly expressed this idea of collaboration on the purchase to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, alongside others at a conference meal. Furthermore, he also put forth the concept to ByteDance executive chair Zhang Yiming. If a sale of TikTok occurs, the application is expected to be valued at hundreds of billions of dollars.

Kotick was at the helm of Activision for over three decades, leaving amid controversy. In a lawsuit settled in 2021, Activision was accused of fostering a work environment conducive to sexual harassment and gender discrimination under Kotick’s tenure. Reports came out alleging that Kotick was fully aware of the misconduct allegations and failed to appropriately disclose these incidents to organisation’s board. He himself faced allegations of harassment, a claim referred by Activision Blizzard as “misleading”.

The revelations resulted in a walkout by Activision Blizzard staff, demanding Kotick’s resignation, however Kotick remained in his role till completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of the company in 2023.

Kotick’s prospective interest in purchasing TikTok coincides with a critical time for the platform. Following the introduction of the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” which is likely to be approved by President Biden, ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok would have to sell the app within six months or face a ban in the US.

TikTok has been encouraging its US user base to support it, even as lawmakers expressed concerns over user data privacy and the app’s ties with China. Some reports suggest that a possible collaboration with Altman could lead to the app being utilised by OpenAI to train its AI models, a prospect that doesn’t seem appealing for its users either.