Thursday, April 15, 2021

Investors fight back against latest wave of Activision Blizzard layoffs, question CEO salary

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Activision Blizzard

Yesterday news broke that Activision Blizzard was laying off impacted many employees as the company abandons its “addiction” to live events regarding its esports division. Part of the severance package includes 90 days of pay, health benefits for the year, and a $ 200 battle.net gift card. Today, investors are looking again at the CEO and his salary versus a history of avoidable layoffs under his leadership.

CEO Bobby Kotick has made headlines in the past for his leadership practices and inflated salary, especially in 2019. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard has laid off more than 800 employees despite a profitable year, only to be revealed that his salary had come in. to $ 30 million. Now that a new round of layoffs has taken place, citing the impact of COVID-19 on goals for the Call of Duty and Overwatch professional leagues, the CtW Investment Group has released a statement regarding Kotick. The statement below to GameSpot by Executive Compensation Research Director Michael Varner is as follows:

While Activision’s share price increase is somewhat laudable, as we stated last year and continue to say, this achievement alone does not justify such a significant salary result for the CEO. There are many factors that may contribute to a rise in the share price of this particular company that may not be directly attributable to the leadership of Robert Kotick. The use of video games as one of the few entertainment options available amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has been a boon for many companies in the gaming industry, regardless of executive talent or decisions. strategic.

This investment group has been promoting Activision Blizzard and EA for some time now, with a particular focus on top executives. Both Andrew Wilson and EA’s Kotick named among the best CEO “overpaid” in the company, the loss of personnel does not add up.

Previous conversations regarding Kotick’s payment centered around a loophole created to be more profitable for him as an executive with the Shareholder Value Creation Incentive. This allows it to achieve the full performance of previous years, whether or not key markets are affected. While this has had a positive impact on the company’s actions, it has also become a source of concern as layoffs increasingly become a norm in the Activision Blizzard culture.

Back in 2017, Kotick net $ 28,698,375 same after a reduction in pay, which is about 300 times higher than the average employee. While a massive pay raise is not normal for someone in a CEO role, eliminating 800 employees only to turn around immediately and saying, “Just kidding, we need 2,000 more to fill these positions” is not normal. At least it shouldn’t be.

[Source: CtW Investment Group via GameSpot]

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