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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RemnantKnight56

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CEOs are needed for overall guidance and leadership of a company and to see everything from a large scale--sort of like the producer in a movie. They handle the financial side of things and ultimately have the final say on the product, short of the owner if it's a private company. The problem arises when these people are focused on making money and nothing else. The product becomes generic and a mere tool to earn millions for the shareholders. I think that could maybe work well in other industries, but in artistic ones, such as music, movies, and especially games, it ends up harming the product. The only CEO I remember being praised in the game industry was Satoru Iwata, and he wasn't someone that was called in from the economics side of the industry. He came in from the ground up and understood how a game was made, and also had an understanding of economics to go with it.

Kotick is not Iwata. Not in the slightest. I agree that CEOs shouldn't be as paid as much as they are, but it's wrong to say that the position should be eliminated entirely. The bigger problem is that they bring in CEOs only interested in the money, not the product. We need people passionate about their games at the top, not about reaching a certain sales quota.
 

Ishzark

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man I wish someone would overpay my work by that amount

I mean, serves him tho - his job is hard, sure thing but not that hard v:
 

sonyabyrd

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Well, that's one way to do it, right? It's crazy that a company like Blizzard operates in that way. I'm not surprised they were bought by Microsoft, and I'm sure they'll have better management now.
I think that people I work with would freak out if they got a 50% paycheck cut on their paystubs. I work in accounting, and I know that people freak out with any paycheck cut they get. At the beginning of the year, I had to create paycheck stubs for my boss, and some people were not happy with their salaries. I felt like they hated me even though it was not my fault...
 
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