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Activision Blizzard CEO Under Fire For Being Paid Too Much For Achieving Little

It’s good to know that even during trying times, common sense can prevail.

Activision Blizzard is under fire from some of its own shareholders who argue that CEO Bobby Kotick is receiving too much of a compensation. According to a GamesIndustry.biz report, two proxy advisory service firms suggest that the company shareholders vote against a proposal to remunerate Kotick in-line with previous years.

Despite repeated low approval votes from shareholders, Activision Blizzard maintains multiple, overlapping opportunities for its CEO to earn outsize equity awards, even when performance-related vesting thresholds have not been met.

So how much does Bobby Kotick gets paid? He receives close to US$100 million each year in combined stock options and equity since 2016.

A friggin’ US$100 million; Jesus! For comparison’s sake, Nintendo’s CEO earns close to US$10 million yearly.

And as extra icing on this s*** news cake, Activision Blizzard employees typically earn less than one-third of 1% of the CEO’s earnings. Just think how many games can be made and happily-compensated game developers & programmers can be generated with just that yearly salary alone.

Here are more statements from the filing, which explains that Kotick fails to meet certain targets and needs his rewards curbed before Activision Blizzard gets into more operational problems.

“Disclosure surrounding the strategic objectives portion is severely lacking and merely cites ‘attracting, retaining and motivating top talent; cultivating new business opportunities and expanding existing ones; delivering production and development milestones; and increasing productivity.

We note that three of these objectives are clearly related to human capital management, and that Kotick’s apparent failure to achieve more than half of the targeted performance strongly suggests that Activision Blizzard’s skewed approach to human capital management – lavishing multi-million dollar rewards on the CEO as employees face layoffs – needs to be addressed before it manifests in deeper operational problems.”

Long story short, I’m surprised it took people this long to sort out this mess. Did it take Activision Blizzard’s recent politically-related kerfuffles for the past two years to wake shareholders up? Whatever the case, better late than never.

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