But apparently he’s being paid so much that even shareholders in the company he owns are starting to ask questions, and to get them answered, they filed to the United States Sericites and Exchange commission to find out if it’s possible the amount he’s getting paid could actually be a legal problem.
In the filing, which was headed by CtW Investment Group, they lay down exactly how much money this dude is making: thanks to “Multiple, overlapping award provisions”, every year for the past 4 years, he’s received over 20 million dollars in stock options on top of his salary as compensation for his work. This has added up to 96.5 million dollars over the past four years, which, again, doesn’t even include his base salary and other benefits his position affords him.
“While equity grants that exceed the total pay of peer companies would be objectionable in most circumstances, it is of special concern in this case because Activision Blizzard employees face job insecurity following layoffs of 800 employees in 2019, and typically earn less than 1/3 of 1% of the CEO’s earnings, with some employees, such as Junior Developers, making less than $40,000 a year while living in high-cost areas such as southern California.”
That’s pretty messed up. But don’t worry: Activision Blizzard has leapt to the defense of their CEO and boss, saying this to GameStop when reached for a comment:
"During Mr. Kotick's tenure--which is the longest of any CEO of a public technology company--Activision Blizzard’s market capitalization has increased from less than $10 million to over $53 billion dollars. In the last five years, Activision Blizzard's share price has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 120% and over the past 20 years, under Mr. Kotick’s leadership, Activision Blizzard’s share price has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 11,000%. Over 90% of Mr. Kotick’s proxy reported compensation is performance-based, and he has delivered exceptional value for Activision Blizzard’s stockholders. Our equity dilution rates remain among the lowest of our peer group."
So, he makes them lots of money, so they feel they need to bribe him to stay on board. Okay.
That’s not an “accepting” okay, by the way. It’s a defeated okay.
Rich get richer, y’know?