Bobby Kotick, the longtime CEO of “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush” game maker Activision Blizzard, will see his base salary reduced by 50% and bonus potential slashed as part of a 15-month contract extension, the company reported Thursday in an SEC filing.
Why it matters: The cut isn’t a sign that the company is struggling. Activision, like most big gaming companies, is thriving. But it appears to show a company reacting to criticism of outsized executive compensation.
- Kotick’s base salary will be cut in half to $875,000, and his amended contract establishes a reduction of $1.75 million in potential annual bonuses.
- Provisions for lucrative bonuses tied to stock performance have also been removed or rewritten to limit other potential bonus payouts. That follows reports that they triggered payments of as much as $200 million earlier this year.
- In its filing, Activison’s board said the compensation changes were made after 12 months of “extensive shareholder outreach.”
The big picture: Kotick became CEO of Activision in 1991, when the company was a struggling player in a much smaller industry. Now it is one of gaming’s most successful.
So people are still whining that he’s making actual money but these are the types for whom no pay level will ever be acceptable, even if they even out the pay levels throughout the whole company.
I think this is a great exemplary step forwards – the top shouldn’t be earning such stupid amounts more than the lowest employees. Next step, up the earnings of the lower paid people!