Activision CEO Bobby Kotick given a 50% salary paycut following criticisms of being overpaid

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Activision has been the target of plenty of industry jokes and drama for years now, but one of the most egregious of which--outside of their handling of Blizzard--has been CEO Bobby Kotick's salary. As the boss of Activision, Kotick made $1.75 million dollars annually and further raked in bonuses totalling around $28.5 million in 2019, with his earnings being so sky-high that the CtW Investment Group noticed and took aim at Kotick, saying his earnings were excessive for what he does, and non-profit website As You Sow calling him one of the most overpaid CEOs in the world.

In what seems to be a form of response to said criticisms, Kotick is facing a paycut of 50% this year. His $1.75 million dollar salary is being reduced to $875,000, while his yearly bonus has been halved as well. The latter of which is an extra payout, dependant on how the company performs throughout the fiscal year. This decision also follows two major incidents of Activision Blizzard laying off staff, with 2019 seeing over 800 employees laid off, and "dozens" being booted as recently as March of this year.

However, despite the paycut, there are still two points to keep in mind. The first of which is the fact that the CtW has noted that Kotick will be earning a stock bonus this year, worth around $200 million, though the "exact" amount hasn't been fully confirmed by Activision itself. Also, Kotick can raise his pay 200% of the reduced amount, should Activision surpass certain milestones regarding its shareholders. A legal report filed by Activision Blizzard shows that this decision was done as a "result of shareholder feedback", and that because of this, the millions he's making now puts him in "the bottom quartile of the average base salary of CEOs of peer companies".

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BitMasterPlus

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Well, this is good and bad in my eyes. Good that jackasses get their pay cut for doing a shit job and/or being greedy, bad since this could also happen to others who genuinely work hard and deserve the pay. At least in this case it seemed he deserved getting a pay cut.
 

diggeloid

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I get it. Board members see the company is doing really good, and since they're not involved in operations they don't know what to attribute that success to, so they just assume Kotick is a gift from heaven and are giving him as much money as possible so he doesn't leave (especially since the video game industry is so volatile)

After a certain point though, it's got to seem ridiculous to anyone with half a brain. This man ain't worth that much money. I bet they could replace him with anyone else in the executive staff for 10% of that salary, and the company will continue to do as good as always.
 

Axido

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I would really like to know which actual work he has done to deserve even a cent more than the average developer, producer or staff member in general (as in the ones that produce the stuff that his company is selling). And if he did make some seriously impacting decisions, I'd like to know whether or not they are worth a dime or if anyone else could have made them (or better ones):

I know a lot about corporate governance and I still need to figure out what it is exactly that CEOs do that warrant a salary as high as this. And seeing his recent business decisions, I'm pretty sure, any dumbass could do the job better.
 
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Seliph

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CEOs are a huge waste of company money, and should be a prime candidate to be replaced by a robot for efficiency.
Why replace a useless "worker" with a useless robot?

Just abolish the position altogether and actually let the devs run their business for themselves.
 

Julie_Pilgrim

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Volttekka

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Why replace a useless "worker" with a useless robot?

Just abolish the position altogether and actually let the devs run their business for themselves.

While I understand your sentiment, there is usually a good reason for having a CEO, especially one who isn't quite as enmeshed in the current projects. It's mostly to have someone who can see the bigger picture when the folks on the ground level are focusing their attention onto the minutia of the project, as well as to rein in the workers from going overboard. From my personal experience, having limits and constraints actually improves the potential quality of the product, rather than detracting from it, with one good example being The Ren & Stimpy Show having a lot of restrictions set in place by Nickelodeon and Kricfalusi thriving on pushing the limits to their extremes, whereas for Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" Kricfalusi was given a blank check by Spike TV to do whatever he wanted with it, and as a result the show was lacking the wit and subtlety of the original (among many other damning flaws)
 

nero99

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I would really like to know which actual work he has done to deserve even a cent more than the average developer, producer or staff member in general (as in the ones that produce the stuff that his company is selling). And if he did make some seriously impacting decisions, I'd like to know whether or not they are worth a dime or if anyone else could have made them (or better ones):

I know a lot about corporate governance and I still need to figure out what it is exactly that CEOs do that warrant a salary as high as this. And seeing his recent business decisions, I'm pretty sure, any dumbass could do the job better.
a chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company or other institution, ultimately responsible for making managerial decisions. basically one step below the owner/president of a company who is in charge of making all the big decisions that the owner/president can't be bothered with.
 
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Xzi

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The problem isn't his pay (though that is ludicrous), it's that he has any power or say over the company at all. It's all about the financials for him, he doesn't have the first fucking clue when it comes to gaming or game development. If anything I'd say he holds disdain for the industry. In that regard, it's surprising that Kotick and Sweeney haven't fallen in love and gotten married yet.
 
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