Executives of Vivendi discussed firing Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick last May in emails about the sale of Vivendi's stake back to Activision Blizzard, according to a Bloomberg report.
The translated emails are part of a June court filing that alleges Kotick threatened to quit if directors didn't allow him to lead a group that helped buy out most of Vivendi's stock for $8.2 billion.
"Activision's board of directors supports the ongoing leadership of the company by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly, who are the most effective executives in the interactive entertainment industry," company spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif told Polygon via email. "The recent transaction restructuring the company's ownership has received widespread market support."
Activision shareholder Anthony Pacchia and other shareholders allege in the suit that Kotick and his group violated their duties to shareholders by "approving a self-dealing and unfair transaction."
In emails included in the suit, Vivendi's then chief financial officer and Activision chairman Philippe Capron offered to fire Kotick "happily. Tomorrow if you want." Vivendi general counsel Frederic Crepin wrote that he thought Kotick was betting that the company wouldn't "dare" let him go. And Richard Sarnoff, one of Activision's independent directors, said he would help if Vivendi decided to fire Kotick.
Kotick's $8.2 billion deal ended up going through leaving him in control of the company once more. A judge in Delaware ruled last month that Kotick and Activision chairman Brian Kelly must face the claims.