The next chapter in the Activision acquisition saga involves Beyonces childrens pre-school

Activision Blizzard shareholders will vote today on the Microsoft acquisition bid, but the vote extends to a lot more than just the purchase itself, and loops in the Los Angeles school attended by Beyonce’s children.

Earlier this week, a report from Axios (opens in new tab) revealed that shareholders at Activision Blizzard would vote this Thursday to approve or decline the attempted acquisition by Microsoft. But, as reporter Stephen Totilo explains in the tweet thread beginning just below, there’s actually a lot more than meets the eye with the forthcoming vote.

A ‘yes’ vote from Activision Blizzard shareholders this Thursday won’t just okay Microsoft bid but will secure Bobby Kotick’s eligibility for a $22 million bonusThere’s a bit of intrigue here involving, of all things, an elite LA elementary school…https://t.co/227crUeK1gApril 26, 2022

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As well as signing off on the acquisition itself, three members of the Activision Blizzard board will be part of a subcommittee deciding whether CEO Bobby Kotick will be eligible to receive a $22 million payout bonus and to have his previously-slashed pay packet reinstated. 

In order for that to happen, the subcommittee would have to rule that the toxic work environment documented at Activision Blizzard over the past few years has been sufficiently reformed in recent months. As Axios reports, however, one of the three people tasked with making that decision is Reveta Bowers, current interim head of The Center for Early Education. The school is one of the most prestigious in L.A., and has seen the families of the likes of Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington pass through its doors. Up until 2020, Kotick sat on the school’s board, leaving around the time Bowers took up her current role.

Activision Blizzard told Axios that Kotick had left the school board in an attempt to avoid a conflict of interest, but appeared not to comment on Bowers’ spot on its own board or the relevant subcommittee. 

This isn’t the first time that the acquisition has been marred by boardroom relationships. Three men – one of whom served on the Coca-Cola board alongside Kotick – were investigated by the Department of Justice earlier this year over the possibility of insider trading

This is just the latest in the ongoing attemped acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, which begin earlier this year. Although members of the former will vote on the deal today, it still needs approval from the FTC, which announced a break in tradition to personally review and approve the deal earlier this year.

The acquisition process is expected to end on or before June 30, 2023.

Activision’s flagship Call of Duty franchise is expected to remain available on PlayStation, even after its developers’ move to Xbox.

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