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Bobby Kotick joins board of directors at Coca-Cola

Activision Blizzard CEO also appointed to the management development committee

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has joined the board of directors at Coca-Cola.

Kotick purchased a stake in Activision in 1990. He was elected CEO in 1991, and is widely regarded as the driving force behind its subsequent rise to become the industry's most profitable publisher.

"Bobby brings an entrepreneurial mindset and a high level of financial literacy and digital knowledge to our company," said Coca-Cola CEO and president Muhtar Kent in a statement.

"His global brand expertise and insight will be invaluable as we continue to grow our business and invest in enhancing our digital engagement with consumers and customers around the world."

Kotick also served on the board of directors for Yahoo from 2003 to 2008.

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Latest comments (30)

Jesse HR and HMI consultancy. 4 years ago
As of 1 June, Coke is going to come in 150ml cans for $6, with successive 75ml taste packs being released every 2 months at $1.99 each.

Hard core Coke drinkers will be able to subscribe to the $80p/y Coke Elite service, which will ensure they get early access to the taste packs (bringing their total experience up to the 375ml they used to get last year for $1) as well as exclusive access to the website where they can discuss and plan Coke drinking techniques, and Coke drinking competitions with fellow Coke drinking fans.

There are no plan to try and actually improve the taste of Coke.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Coke are lucky to have such a successful businessman on board.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
@Jesse

You forgot to mention that all products which do not have the potential for a new release each year will be discontinued. Modern WarCoke 2 is scheduled to be announced at this year's E3 alongside Fantalanders.
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Show all comments (30)
Activ Cola anyone?
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John Karageorgiou consultant 4 years ago
Well, no surprise really. He is after all the head of the "Coca-Cola" brand as it relates to the gaming world!!!
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart4 years ago
@ Jesse What's your point? Coke hasn't changed taste in 150 years. If it aint broke don't fix it. Given the continuing success of CoD ATVI can be forgiven for applying the same methodolgy. Investment for investments sake is not commercial.

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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
@Graham

April 23, 1985 - Thou shalt never forget
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Why all the hate.
I would far rather work for Kotick than most of the game industry bosses that I know. At least he knows what he is doing.
And working for a profitable company is a lot more secure than working for an unprofitable one!
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Jeff Wilson4 years ago
All COD players can now expect to see the Coca Cola Brand advertised all over the new maps. Why else would you employ Bobby Kotick? The Directors of Coca Cola have the easiest job in the world as they are managing a solid brand that hardly requires great business acumen.

Let us not forget that Activision are only surviving on the COD franchise and Blizzard practically run WOW without Kotick anyway. Activision have dropped virtually all other IP's like a hot stone in the last year and closed down the companies. Is this why Kotick's found another job? Maybe the Activision Board of Directors want him out and he can see the writing on the wall.

@Bruce Everiss - You really do kiss Bobby Kotick's ass. Do you want a job offer from him ?
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters4 years ago
@Bruce - Because most people here are actually gamers and care about the quality of the games themselves. For them, Bobby Kotick represents rinse and repeat, and milking something of every last penny and ditching it (and everyone who worked on it) the moment it looks like it won't make him any richer. We're not all marketers, Bruce. Big numbers and getting rich aren't the bottom line to some of us.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game4 years ago
Also, I seem to remember a few of the last few years where if you took away WoWs massive profits, Activision would have made much lower profit, and the policy company wide re WoW seems to be "leave Blizzard division to it lest we feck it up", I don't know that you can give BK much credit for that except not stepping in.
Then if you took away the CoD profits as well,the company would be making a loss in a good few of the recent years. Does CoD being so successful really make BK a business genius? Although I don't think CoD is going anywhere soon, if it were to fail tomorrow, the non Blizzard part of the company would be looking dire, at least after we get 2 Skylanders sequels in a year, and the kids get bored.
I could be wrong, I could have read it wrong, but whilst Activision did a very good job building CoD, and it probably always would have been a successful game, the scale of it's success is at least partly luck, if it had "just" sold 5 million copies, which would still be very good, and more than most could hope for, shareholders would have been crying for blood by now.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 17th February 2012 1:26pm

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 4 years ago
+1 to what Dave Herod said. There's no doubt Activision have made shed loads of money and that Kotick is obviously good at his job, but speaking from the point of view as someone who's more interested in the games themselves than the business side of things, Activision are little more than a one-trick pony.
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Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire4 years ago
There's so much bullshit being written here.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
To me, as an industry professional, a good game is one that sells a lot. It pays the wages.

And I am 100% sure that Kotick's acumen and the subsequent success of Activision is vastly more than you guys realise.
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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop4 years ago
Because most people here are actually gamers and care about the quality of the games themselves
Are you saying CoD games aren't quality? Because reviews, and the player numbers, don't seem to back up that suggestion.

Plus more Kotaku-esque comments from the students and freelancers. I would wonder why someone who isn't interested in the "business" would read gi.biz ?
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Jesse HR and HMI consultancy. 4 years ago
@Bruce: Oh yeah, I'll bet he's a real pleasure to work for.

Bobby Kotick 2009: "We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

Successful? Yes. Fully exploits his market? Yes. A CEO that has the respect of his customer base? Hell no.

Now contrast that with Steve Jobs or Tim Cook. I know which I'd rather work for.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters4 years ago
No, Anthony, I'm saying people care about that quality and form their own opinions. Which they're entirely entitled to. I'm not even saying Bruce is wrong, I was responding to his apparent confusion that everyone doesn't see things from the same perspective.
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Alan Wilson Vice President, Tripwire Interactive4 years ago
@Bruce: "I would far rather work for Kotick than most of the game industry bosses that I know. At least he knows what he is doing.
And working for a profitable company is a lot more secure than working for an unprofitable one!"

Job security? Have you not noticed how many studios Activision (and others) have closed down over the last few years? The steady string of redundancies? Never mind the fiasco around IW... Now, if they hadn't been so greedily acquisitive in the first place, they probably wouldn't have needed the slash-and-burn exercises. But Bobby Kotick is certainly quite brilliant at promoting one key brand: the brand of "Bobby Kotick".
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart4 years ago
"Plus more Kotaku-esque comments from the students and freelancers" The tiresome uneducated ATVI hate was bad enough before and now they have opened the doors to all and sundry. Quality of comments on this forum will sink to the Kotaku low... Bobby Koittck this Bobby Kottick that etc etc

As an investor in ATVI and someone whose capital I am trusting Bobby Kottick to deploy to generate the greatest return I think he does a great job. I also enjoy playing the games they make. But what do I know.

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 4 years ago
He's obviously an excellent businessman, has led Activision to new heights and has successfully honed one of the most successful videogame brands of the modern era. Nobody's questioning or denying that, and Coke obviously recognise this too.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 4 years ago
First of all this is not in any shape or form related to AVTI.
If you actually research the man you will find that he has past board member experience, personal investments and activities that have nothing to do with his day job.

His joining the Coke board wont change his day job at AVTI, he has to still answer to the board, the parent company and the shareholders if this has any effects on AVTI.

I have to agree with the others who commented on the comments appearing on this site.
Remember you never know who is reading these comments and if one day they might come back to hunt you.

I think its funny anyone thinks Activision could influcence Coke in any shape or form.
Coke is over 10time in market cap bigger than Activision and had revenus of almost 10 times that of activision last year.
To a company like Coke, Activision is small fry.
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Neguceanu George Level Designer / Web Design - Promotion, Pixel Toaster Studios4 years ago
So in a industry where creativity and innovation should be the measure of the quality of a game or company, we talk here about business and how much money some company made. Very nice, and we wonder why we have so many mediocre products on the market? I think we should blame the piracy, yup, that's the one.

I miss the days when developers were creating interesting products, not concentrating on becomin business gurus.

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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 4 years ago
@Neguceanu George

Being creative and innovative is not always enough to be sucessful so yes a business guru is from time to time needed to help drive the creativity and innovation.
As in any company the man at the top is just one cog all be an important one but without the other cogs nothing would ever get done.

Alas the large number of mediocer products is down to risk aversion and the nature of the world markets over the last few years, not all mind you but it is a huge factor in the current state of the industry.
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Creativity and innovation are hard because of risk. Risk is increased because of the need to compete in a market full of risk-averse goliaths taking up shelf space, advertising space, patent space, and whatever else they can lay their greedy hands on. The excuse that suits use to be risk-averse is a result of their own presence. It is a cycle that funnels wealth into the pockets of CEOs while developers are expected to be grateful to simply have jobs (until the project ships).

Of course investors love him, I have no doubts or surprises regarding that. Thing is - games exist to provide entertainment for gamers and money for developers. For developers. For the talent that invested in their skill to be able to construct these games. Not for publishers, not for advertisers, not for CEOs, and not for investors; these are just parasites that have latched onto a young and defenseless artform. Well, guess what? It's growing up, it's learning how to defend itself. Developers are collectivizing, and Kickstarter is ruining publisher leverage. I hope Bobby is prepared for this to become his full time job.
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David Stevenson Journalist 4 years ago
guys guys... Kotick also is in charge of publishing Blizzard's games. They make a game like once every 5 years.
so don't say the guy is impatient and needs a new game every year.

Starcraft has been around 14 years and has seen 2 full games and 1 expansion pack
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Justin Biddle Software Developer 4 years ago
If I recall correctly (and do correct me if I'm wrong) that when Activision bought out Blizzard there were very strict terms and conditions about creative control which Blizzard retained. To me that's very telling. It wasn't enough to have a verbal agreement. They needed it in contractual writing to preserve their creative control after the take over.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 19th February 2012 3:18pm

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 4 years ago
It's never enough to have just an oral agreement, even with your best friend. When you make a contract of any import and length, put it in writing or be prepared later to rue not having done so.

So Blizard's behaviour implies no disrespect at all to Activision or any of its people.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 4 years ago
Activision were bought out by Blizzard's parent company Vivendi, and the Sierra brand was absorbed into Acti. However, Blizzard continue to operate as a sole entity aside from its sister company, although I guess Activision handle the physical distribution for them.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 4 years ago
Modern bubblefare II.
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Arthur N4 years ago
Ladies and gent, Coke is now officially "Joke"

Wtach out parents, Kotick is now selling liquid sugar to kiddies and milking the crap out of it while hes at it.
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