ZeniMax Media Co-Founder And CEO Robert Altman Has Passed Away

Bethesda tweeted the news earlier today that ZeniMax co-founder Robert A. Altman had passed away. No cause of death was given.

Altman became the CEO of ZeniMax media back in 1999 with Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver. ZeniMax became the parent company of Bethesda and Weaver served as ZeniMax’s chief technical officer. Weaver left the company in 2002 after falling out with Altman, which eventually ended in a settled lawsuit.

Before ZeniMax, Altman’s career started in financial law. He became widely known in the early ’90s for a well-publicized fraud case against several federal and state banking regulators. Those cases were all either dismissed or found not-guilty for Altman, except for one civil case with the Federal Reserve. That case was settled with Altman agreeing to never work in the banking sector again.

Bethesda’s Twitter shared a company-wide email that Altman wrote in the weeks prior to his death. Altman wrote similar emails weekly to everyone working from home at ZeniMax.

“We know many are feeling the pressure of isolation, and the stresses related to our current circumstances,” Altman wrote. “Again, I urge you to make time for yourselves daily, schedule online social gatherings, and keep your perspective, know this will pass.”

Under Altman’s tenure, ZeniMax acquired several large studios including id Software, Arkane Studios, and MachineGames. Last year, ZeniMax was acquired by Microsoft in the largest single transaction in gaming history at $7.5 billion.

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