Activision Blizzard recently shared some more information about the upcoming merger with Microsoft in a SEC filing.
ABK Leadership Talking Points – Microsoft Deal
The employee talking points are for senior leaders to use in conversations with Activision Blizzard employees regarding the Microsoft acquisition announcement.
- As you now know, Activision Blizzard is expected to merge with Microsoft.
- This is an exciting evolution for our company that will build on the work we have done together to be the leader in gaming by delivering epic entertainment for our players.
- Together, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft will help to shape the future of interactive entertainment and drive engagement with some of the most popular games on one of the world’s premier network of platforms and devices.
- Our accomplished team, creative DNA and library of premium games, combined with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, and cloud capabilities will build a foundation that supports the combined company’s success in an increasingly competitive marketplace and rapidly evolving industry landscape.
- Bobby, Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors, and broader leadership team see this combination as a way to ensure that Activision Blizzard continues to play a significant role in creating epic content for the next generation of gamers.
What this Means for Employees
- Microsoft recognizes the commitment to excellence and creativity that sets us apart, and this depth of talent and expertise is a driving force behind this transaction.
- Activision Blizzard’s success is because of you – your creativity and innovation have created a workplace that supports the development of epic content to connect and engage the world.
Impact to Jobs
- We are going to have a long time where we can focus on retaining our employees, making sure that you all see a pathway for greater opportunities. And while this concern is natural, I need to be clear that this is going to take time.
- We, both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, have a focus on retaining people. In fact, Microsoft leadership have expressed that what they’re MOST excited for in acquiring our company is our talent.
Compensation, Benefits, Stock & Equity
- Microsoft has committed that for the first twelve months after closing Activision-Blizzard employees will be provided with benefits, target cash compensation (excluding equity) and severance payments that are no less favorable, in the aggregate, than either (i) what Activision employees received prior to closing or (ii) the standard compensation and benefits Microsoft provides to its similarly situated employees. More information will be coming soon on other details of this transition, including treatment of existing equity compensation.
- In the meantime, we will continue to deliver compensation that considers a number of factors including performance, including regular annual wage evaluations, delivering on our bonus plans, and consideration of future equity awards. The changes we announced around employee benefits this past month will continue through at least close.
Learning and Development
- Microsoft’s diverse operations will give us access to valuable expertise, technology, and tools and provide even greater opportunities for learning, development, and career growth.
Tools and Platforms
- We are operating as business as usual until close, and that means we don’t plan to switch to Microsoft Teams, for example, during this time before the deal closes.
- Ensuring a smooth transition is key for both us and Microsoft.
- We are coordinating closely with our partners to reassure them that we plan to honor existing commitments post close. As with Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft, there is no intent to remove any content from platforms where it exists today.
- We are still hiring – we’re always looking for top talent and will continue with our current practices and programs through closing. It is too soon to share any detail on hiring post close, but for now we look forward to continuing to welcome great talent to Activision Blizzard.
- Importantly, the workplace changes that Activision Blizzard’s leadership team has implemented and made progress on throughout 2021 are expected to continue in 2022 and beyond.
- We intend for Activision Blizzard to continue its progress towards a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture, and Bobby has made achieving this objective one of his top priorities for the near- and long-term.
- Activision Blizzard’s leadership team has discussed the company’s goals at length with Microsoft, and Microsoft has reviewed the renewed culture commitment and actions Activision Blizzard has undertaken so far. You can find these yourself on the “Progress and Commitments” space on the Hub that will be continuously updated. Microsoft is supportive of the goals and the work being done.
- The next steps in the transaction process are for our company to work to complete the regulatory review of this transaction and obtain approval from our shareholders, which includes many of you.
- Until the transaction closes, which we expect to be in Microsoft’s fiscal year ending in June 2023, it remains business as usual and both companies will continue to operate independently. We ask that you continue to focus on your current projects and responsibilities.
- We know there is a lot of interest in understanding what the future company will look like. While we don’t yet know the specifics of Microsoft’s plans once the transaction closes, we do know that Activision Blizzard will become part of Microsoft’s Gaming Division under the leadership of Phil Spencer. We look forward to introducing you all to Phil soon.
- Many of you will have questions and I recognize the uncertainty that some of you may have. While we don’t have all the answers at this time and there are restrictions on what we can say prior to the close of the transaction, we will update you throughout the process. We will continue to update the “Defining our Future” space on the Hub with information and answers to questions as we have them.
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