It’s a well-known fact that Activision-Blizzard Bobby Kotich is one of the most grossly overpaid individuals in the United States. Seriously, many reports have pointed this out, including the startling statistic that Bobby Kotich’s employees, on average, earn less than 1/3rd of 1% of what he rakes in every year, between his million+ salary, countless compensation packages, and annual bonuses. It’s even caused something like internal drama, as certain shareholders have tried — and failed — to restrict the maddening amount of cash this one guy is making, particularly as Activision-Blizzard continues to lay off hundreds of employees every year in the name of cutting costs.
It seems the absurdity of his comical wealth has caught up with him, however, and it was just reported that he has volunteered to take a 50% pay cut, and a reduction of annual bonuses of up to $1,750,000. Sounds big, but he can still earn 200% of his annual salary in bonuses, and he’s still got millions upon millions of dollars in the bank from all the previous years he was disgustingly overpaid.
The logic behind this decision was not forthcoming: Activision-Blizzard is still doing fine, and while I can’t speak for any internal discussion, externally there was no public pressure from any first or third party for him to take a pay cut. My best bet is that this is a PR move: if we’re lucky, it’s an incredibly late effort for him to shine himself in a better light after the very justified criticisms that most of the layoffs Activision-Blizzard has enacted in the name of saving money could have come from his salary instead of the jobs of hundreds of people who need work. If we’re not lucky, this is a preemptive move before he announces a new wave of layoffs, which would have the potential of being the biggest we’ve seen from them in years.
Or maybe it’s something else. Who knows? Not me.