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MarketWatch nominates Activision CEO Bobby Kotick as 'CEO of the Year' runner-up, and we find out about Kotick's Nintendo past

When [Blizzard CEO] Mike Morhaime first met Kotick, he was looking for a low-key setting to avoid sparking the sort of chatter that often emerges when high-profile business leaders meet in public. Morhaime… chose a steakhouse near his company’s Irvine, Calif., headquarters. But he ended up booking a large banquet room by mistake, leaving the two alone and rather conspicuous for the nearly four hours during which they contemplated the potential of a merger creating a new leader in the video-game business…

“We wanted to keep it low-key, which was pretty hard to do in this huge room with just the two of us there,” Morhaime recalled with a laugh.

Kotick and partner Brian Kelly bought a small company that handled licensing for Nintendo’s game characters… But Kotick had his eye on making games, so Nintendo pointed him to Activision, which had made the popular game “Pitfall” for Atari but had since changed its name to Mediagenic in an effort to expand into other areas of software development.

Its move ultimately failed, landing Mediagenic in bankruptcy. Kotick and Kelly bought the company in 1990 for less than $500,000…

Well look at that…Mr. Kotick was right in there with Nintendo, and it was the Big N that set him on his path to where he is now. I wonder if Kotick would ever head back to Nintendo. I wouldn’t want him to…I don’t like his ideas!

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