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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Set to Receive $200 Million Bonus

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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is set to get a massive bonus in the amount of around $200 million, on top of his standard yearly salary in the tens of millions, as the CtW Investment Group called out in a statement criticizing the bonus. The report comes after a recent layoff round at Activision Blizzard, in which between 50 and 190 employees were let go.

CtW is an activist investor firm that focuses on holding directors and executives accountable for what they feel is irresponsible and unethical corporate behavior and they've issued a statement criticizing the bonus, as reported by GameSpot.

Quote

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

The reason the bonus for Kotick will be so high is apparently the "Shareholder Value Creation Incentive" provision in his contract, which (basically) states that if the company's share price is at least twice the amount it was at the end of 2016, and holds that price for at least 90 consecutive days, he gets the cumulative bonuses from several past years. This has already happened, as Activision Blizzard has done very well during the pandemic, and so the $200 million bonus is set.

You can read more about the matter over on GameSpot.

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Another prime example of corporate greed that makes the recently announced lay offs an even bigger farce.

Smh.

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So let's just... yeah... Versailles, half of stuff located in Cork, relocating some stuff to London and rest to India... Quite good year for Blizzard. ❤️

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really sucks that i want to come back to wow because ive been invested into it for 16 years, but everytime i start feeling like coming back i see something like this. Also really pains me that theyre the company that made diablo because now i have to support them due to my desire to play diablo 4.

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I do not sympathize with such high bonuses and so on, but i ask myself if people on specific fansites and forums of ... let's say car tech, or electronic tech generally, also critize for example the bonus of Elon Musk or if it's just a thing in the gaming industry mostly.

 

Of course the lay off's before give this situation a very bitter taste, but afaik the employees did not just get gift card's, also a payment and help with finding a new job. And to my example before with Elon Musk - i am 100% sure other very big companies also have questionable bonus payments, but employees getting layed off as well there and it is not as spreaded as in the gaming industry. Some could say gamers care more about the heads behind their game, unlike a car driver of Tesla would care for the employees behind their car.

I hope you get my point. 🙂

But in the end i can write, that i am not someone who could handle a job as they (CEO's, manager's) do and if they did a great job (we do not know what's going up inside the company) then a good bonus is well earned, at least for the stress part's of it.

Edited by Baharok

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1 hour ago, Whiterhino said:

really sucks that i want to come back to wow because ive been invested into it for 16 years, but everytime i start feeling like coming back i see something like this. Also really pains me that theyre the company that made diablo because now i have to support them due to my desire to play diablo 4.

Technically you don't have to assuming there's an offline mode? (never played diablo...)

yarr.png

 

  

1 minute ago, Baharok said:

if they did a great job (we do not know what's going up inside the company) then a good bonus is well earned, at least for the stress part's of it.

Given their share value has tripled I think I saw in his tenure, as far as his job description goes, he's done a very good job. When you base it properly on what the company aims are, ignoring any opinions on the actual products, he's done his job well, helped by the pandemic in some ways.

It's poor timing to have the lay offs and this announced together definitely, and  shows they could afford to keep those people on. However the two are unrelated.

 

Edited by Bobbis
yarr

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7 minutes ago, Bobbis said:

It's poor timing to have the lay offs and this announced together definitely, and  shows they could afford to keep those people on. However the two are unrelated.

Absolutely! (forgot to add this - thanks!)  The timing is as similar as the Diablo Immortal announcement somehow. 😄 

Edited by Baharok

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1 hour ago, Baharok said:

Absolutely! (forgot to add this - thanks!)  The timing is as similar as the Diablo Immortal announcement somehow. 😄 

Diablo Immortal's announcement was a massive clusterfuck of multiple directions and marketing mismanagment on a biblical scale. I'm not even sure how they'd ever top that it was just so many obviously bad ideas that anyone working in the industry should have been able to see coming a mile off.

I mean the announcement rather than the game itself, although I've no great desire to play that even if I did have a Phone. Especially with D2 remaster now on the horizon.

It still baffles me to this day how they could have *filtered* everything up so badly with that presentation. Why are you announcing a phone game to a core PC gamer audiance? Why are you not taking a 30 minute break to let people calm the *filtered* down and going straight into the Q&A when EVERY OTHER GAME is having it's Q&A session tommorow? HOLD UP, WHY ARE YOU ACTUALLY ASKING THE CROWD FOR PEOPLES QUESTIONS. WHERE ARE YOUR SHILLS. THIS IS BASIC *filtered* ACTIBLIZZ. In fact, WHY are you having a Q&A session at all? You aren't making this game, the Video Game arm of the Peoples Republic of China is making this game, you have no idea how it plays or how it works, all you have is the lore AND THE CROWD KNOWS THAT BETTER THAN YOU DO. All you can do is say No or Don't Know to Every Single Question.

Oh, and THEN some asshole goes "WHATS THE MATTER? DONT YOU HAVE PHONES? HURR." in a brilliant moment of how to be 100% unprofessional. He was lucky the crowd didn't mount the stage tear him to pieces and have his head on a spike outside the convention center THESE PEOPLE PAID OVER $200 TO BE THERE. THEY ARE CLEARLY NOT MENTALLY WELL PEOPLE WITH REGARDS TO THEIR PRIORITIES.

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2 hours ago, Baharok said:

I do not sympathize with such high bonuses and so on, but i ask myself if people on specific fansites and forums of ... let's say car tech, or electronic tech generally, also critize for example the bonus of Elon Musk or if it's just a thing in the gaming industry mostly.

 

Of course the lay off's before give this situation a very bitter taste, but afaik the employees did not just get gift card's, also a payment and help with finding a new job. And to my example before with Elon Musk - i am 100% sure other very big companies also have questionable bonus payments, but employees getting layed off as well there and it is not as spreaded as in the gaming industry. Some could say gamers care more about the heads behind their game, unlike a car driver of Tesla would care for the employees behind their car.

I hope you get my point. 🙂

But in the end i can write, that i am not someone who could handle a job as they (CEO's, manager's) do and if they did a great job (we do not know what's going up inside the company) then a good bonus is well earned, at least for the stress part's of it.

And how do you know the lay offs weren't caused by greed? For some reason, a company's stock goes up when many people are laid off. Don't ask me why, that's just how the stock market works. So who's to say those 190 people weren't fired so that the CEO could secure his 200 million?

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As the owner of a company, I have a set salary. I also receive bonuses based on how the company has done, bonuses that are sometimes more than 2x my annual salary.

I have also laid off employees if work slows down or positions are no longer needed. I still get my bonus regardless of how many, if any, employees I lay off. 

I could use my bonus to keep some employees however it is like this; while my bonus may pay some salaries, it will not give them work to do.

As for his bonus, I think it is exuberant and could be used to maybe fund a new project therefore creating work for employees but I don't think the CEO, Owner, or Partner should give up a bonus just because there isn't any work for employees who are to be laid off. As long as the bonus is not the direct result of layoffs and is legitimate then the bonus is earned for doing a job hired for or set out to do.                                                                                                                                                                       

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The current state of corporate capitalism is a total mess and disaster. No one—I mean no one—should be taking that kind of money. It’s not “earned”, it’s exploitation of a broken system. It’s not even tied to any good measure of value from his work.

The “modern” class of big-corporation CEOs are robber-barons. Their take is increased for gutting companies, for mass layoffs, for strip-mining a business for short-term “gains” that impair the future of the business.

It’s well past time for “maximum wage” laws to limit these thieves’ take to something more closely reflecting the actual value of their work.

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3 hours ago, Alastor7783 said:

And how do you know the lay offs weren't caused by greed?

Simple respond: I dont know it and i dont take a tinfoil hat. Also i didn't chose a side (as some people think here).

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21 minutes ago, Baharok said:

Simple respond: I dont know it and i dont take a tinfoil hat. Also i didn't chose a side (as some people think here).

"If you aren't with us you are against us" strikes again.

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3 hours ago, Trest said:

The current state of corporate capitalism is a total mess and disaster. No one—I mean no one—should be taking that kind of money. It’s not “earned”, it’s exploitation of a broken system. It’s not even tied to any good measure of value from his work.

The “modern” class of big-corporation CEOs are robber-barons. Their take is increased for gutting companies, for mass layoffs, for strip-mining a business for short-term “gains” that impair the future of the business.

True, also Kotick is among top most overpaid CEOs. Although it's important to note those being fired are mainly from esports and live events division. Since they have been canceled, there is no point in keeping these people around.

Edited by Arcling

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the timing is bad, but Blizzard is a for profit company....its not a charity....and the bonus is by contract....the only thing you could hope for is that the CEO says...well gee lets give some of this money to the people that got laid off....then they get free money and everyone else that still has a job gets nothing?...maybe they could not fire those people and keep them on....then what are we gonna have them do...,the job of the CEO is to maximize corporate profit for the benefit of its shareholders...if you dont like it start your own charity gaming company, if you get big enuf you can pull in over a million a year like most of the top charity CEOs make

 

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The real blizzard wouldn't lay off 50 people while giving the "leadership" hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses. This is the classic "shark" atmosphere that is the antithesis of the blizzard that built what we have today. Nothing left but an imposter of EA wearing Blizzard's clothing.

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11 hours ago, durdyenglish said:

I imagine this guy works hard and is very valuable to his company, I'm just not sure he's $200m more valuable.

I'm not entirely sure anyone is.

Edited by shanghaied
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10 hours ago, Baharok said:

Explain that please.

Well since you didn't condem it but rather took a neutral stance to it you are now being considered to be completely in favor of it ^^

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Uncommon Patron

It is quite common for senior executives to have a portion of their pay "at risk" so they are compelled to produce returns for shareholders.

We call it a 'bonus' when it gets paid, but really its 'pay not given to you unless you meet thresholds to earn it.'

The alternative is to be paid mega-millions as a constant salary, without any form of accountability to actually do well.  Obviously, that is not quite a good outcome for shareholders.

 

Is the outcome worth $200 million?  Well, put things in perspective: the company is worth about $72 billion today, up from $27 billion in 2016.

Edited by DahkCeles

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