Some time ago, a ranking of the best-earning CEOs in the US was published, looking at the 500 largest publicly traded US companies. Among others, Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, appeared in this ranking. The reportedly earned about $30.1 million in salary in 2019. Too much money for the CEO? A group of investors has exactly this opinion and now criticizes Kotick's high salary.
Specifically, two consulting firms that represent the interests of said Activision-Blizzard shareholders have publicly commented on the matter. The salary is above the level of comparable CEOs, is almost only designed for stock market profits and in general Kotick has "obviously not achieved" many goals. Employees would also earn less than one-third of one percent of their CEO. Junior developers, for example, were paid only $40,000 a year, which was not too impressive a salary in expensive California. On top of that, more than 800 employees had to be laid off last year. They are now recommending that all other shareholders vote for a change and "fair pay." The motion was supported by CtW Investment Group, which advocates holding executives accountable for "irresponsible and unethical corporate behavior and excessive executive pay."
In a statement, Activision Blizzard stressed to GameSpot the company's immense success since Kotick was hired as CEO in 1991, saying that under his leadership, its market capitalization grew from $10 million to $53 billion. "Over 90 percent of Mr. Kotick's stated compensation is performance-based and he has created exceptional value for Activision Blizzard shareholders," the statement continued.