Updated: Activision CEO Earned $64.9 Million in 2012

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Updated: Activision CEO Earned $64.9 Million in 2012

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Bobby Kotick made more in 2012 than the CEO's of Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney Co.

Update: Upon further clarification of the compensation report, Activision has explained to us that approximately $55.9 million of Kotick's reported earnings - which, as we note below, comes in the form of stock - is actually a 5-year performance-based figure, rather than a single year guaranteed sum. The number was reported on the filing because 2012 is the year in which the agreement was made. Kotick made roughly $8.33 million in actual pay last year, which falls in line with his prior year earnings.

Original article: The high pay garnered by CEO's around the world is a point of fury for many people, in no small part because it tends to rise well above the wages earned by the staff working beneath them. Walmart, for instance, paid its CEO $20.7 million in 2012. Its employees, on the other the hand, would need a life span comparable to Yoda to even approach that sum. The CEO of Goldman Sachs, in turn, earned $21 million in 2012 while the CEO of Walt Disney Co brought home a healthy $40.2 million. These massive compensation packages have nothing, however, on the pay of one Bobby Kotick. The CEO of Activision Blizzard reportedly earned a whopping $64.9 million in 2012.

Despite Activision's rate of growth slowing compared to 2011, Kotick's personal compensation rose exponentially. His base salary doubled, jumping up to $2 million. This was then bolstered by $2.5 million in bonus pay and another $4.4 million from Activision Blizzard's annual incentive plan. The vast bulk of his earnings, to the tune of nearly $56 million, came from stock awards Kotick picked up in 2012. Comparatively, Kotick's compensation in 2011, sans stock, was a more modest $8.3 million. Activision itself earned a net revenue of $4.856 billion in 2012, with $1.149 billion in net income.

To be fair, even with a slower growth rate, Activison had a decent year, perhaps validating some of Kotick's rewards. Even so, it's always a bit of a shock to see such numbers attached to the compensation of a single person, and while Kotick was making millions game developers in the United States earned a less epic average salary of about $84,000. Granted, that's not a paltry sum compared to many other professions, but it still represents a fairly vast gulf between the man on top and the people actually making the games that Activision sells.

Source: Reuters

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At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

If he was an actual gamer he's earn a lot more. These CEO's don't really know much about their own market. They just look at the numbers and play it safe.

But this is still too much for one man who's doing the least amount of work. This is why capitalism sucks. Working people are being fucked over by the suits.

Adam Jensen:
If he was an actual gamer he's earn a lot more. These CEO's don't really know much about their own market. They just look at the numbers and play it safe.

Debatable - if a skillset can be seen as zero-sum, then actual competence would detract from "personal money-grubbing".

I do love the picture though, it fits the story.

Adam Jensen:

But this is still too much for one man who's doing the least amount of work. This is why capitalism sucks. Working people are being fucked over by the suits.

Yes.

I hate capitalism so much. Money isn't everything.

Oh well, at least we have the people that work at CD Projekt, Valve and Ninty. They deserve salaries like this.

Man, that is a lot of money just for him managing to keep his mouth shut last year.

We are staring into the eyes of evil itself!

Also, Bobby, cut the crap, half you salary and hire dev teams with balls please.

That's... nothing short of shameless. I'm sorry, what kind of lifestyle justifies rewarding yourself like that?

You'd have to be doing the job of over 200 people to even think of it.

It's time the fat cats had a heart attack.

Wow, $65 million is almost enough to develop one level of Call of Duty. And think of all of the developers that could have been given jobs rather than being laid off, said developers could then make some money the majority of which would get snatched up by Kotick's greasy claws.

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

American public allows companies to do this.

Really no one else to blame; developers will always take as much as the market will allow them, and American markets always have at least x5 developer bonuses on average compared to any other market (in USD).

And he'd be able to make even more if it weren't for income tax, thanks Obama!

He didn't earn it, that's just what he was paid. At least sports stars have to engage in some kind of physical activity.
This is Capitalism with a Capital C

for cunt

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

Because If we don't pay the them what they're worth, the best tallent will go elsewhere.

Kargathia:

Adam Jensen:
If he was an actual gamer he's earn a lot more. These CEO's don't really know much about their own market. They just look at the numbers and play it safe.

Debatable - if a skillset can be seen as zero-sum, then actual competence would detract from "personal money-grubbing".

It doesn't though, all a CEO really has to decide is how much to pay themselves. Even if you run your company into the ground you can still get rehired in the same position because you have "Executive experience". Like Sarah Palin.

It's a shame capitalism doesn't have some kind of in-built salary capping.

I mean honestly, if you're earning between $5-$10 million a year, what possible case could you make for needing more?

Even worse is the recipients are almost always the most useless human beings imaginable.

Seriously, give that fucking money to cancer researches who get results or the nurses/paramedics/doctors that save lives, or the soldiers who get wounded/killed protecting people.

Sigh. How did the human race come to this?

Hooray! We get to hate on Activision again. Been a while.....

To be fair, I'd imagine being the CEO of a large company is a pretty hard job. Hence why not everyone is one.
That said, $65 million is a wee bit excessive. I can only guess that since Activision has grown so much under him that he feels he deserves the Lion's share of the profits.

Obscene amounts of wealth for one person. Just obscene.

And the notion of "incentive pay" or bonuses just for doing your job? If it really worked we'd all be getting it. Instead only the people holding the purse strings receive that cash, and we can see through to what it really is: lining your own pockets.

Whatever your outlook, you would be mad not to see American CEOs' salaries as anything but overinflated.

Even funnier is how if they fuck up the whole company, they give themselves massive severance paychecks.

How much did Activision make under his leadership last year? Why is his earning such a wage for the top job (compared with the workers at the bottom) any different (or more controversial) than any other industry?

Don't mistake me. Activision are a horrid company that only EA is able to out-evil. They make horrid games and ruin the industry, but muppets buy them so they make billions. But if he has brought in tidy profits for Activision, then clearly the shareholders believe he is worth that much money.

DVS BSTrD:

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

Because If we don't pay the them what they're worth, the best tallent will go elsewhere.

Does he bring more to the company than 800 designers would?

Because even an idiot could run a company with 400 more designers and earn half as much and turn an ever greater profit when you have 64 million to play with.

This is an example of someone being paid far more than their actual worth to the company.

CEOs' salaries are not based on compensation or work done. They're a business expense.

A CEO, used right, can turn a company around or double it profits. Moreso, perhaps, than any other single investment, because he chooses the company's path. Obviously everyone wants a piece of this, so successful CEOs aren't so much hired as they are bid upon.

Hence the high salary.

So, um... It's not Kotick's fault. Although I'm sure he doesn't mind.

This is ridiculous. Some creepy looking suit that should keep his mouth shut cause he always says something stupid, makes this much money by doing what exactly? As in what is it that makes him deserve it? Even then it's still too much for anyone.

I swear, in a world where quality products makes more dough, Bobby here would be lucky enough to go to the cinemas once a week.

Abomination:

DVS BSTrD:

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

Because If we don't pay the them what they're worth, the best tallent will go elsewhere.

Does he bring more to the company than 800 designers would?

Because even an idiot could run a company with 400 more designers and earn half as much and turn an ever greater profit when you have 64 million to play with.

This is an example of someone being paid far more than their actual worth to the company.

You make the mistake of assuming investors have any connection with reality. It's all about appearances: "Look how much OUR CEO is paid. Aren't WE prestigious?"

DVS BSTrD:
You make the mistake of assuming investors have any connection with reality. It's all about appearances: "Look how much OUR CEO is paid. Aren't WE prestigious?"

I know, no grounds in reality at all.

The company is in bed with Blizzard for fuck's sake... and their revenue producing juggernaut World Of Warcraft.

How a company couldn't be in the black with that type of product on the market just boggles the mind.

I wonder how much EA's CEO will be paid this year?

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Oh right, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I decided to look up and see if Activision had laid anyone off recently, and found this article: http://kotaku.com/5985409/activision-lays-off-about-30-people-saying-there-will-be-fewer-licensed-games-this-year

30 People were laid off already in 2013, although they were mainly paperpushing jobs, not developers. However this statement is very interesting:

Approximately, 30 full-time employees have been impacted globally, which represents approximately one half of one percent of Activision Blizzard's employee population.

So 30 is one half of a percent, 60 is one percent, making approximately 600 the employee population of Activision.

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

His excessive salary could literally be used to double the number of employees in Activision at $84,000 per person, and still give him over 14 million a year.

Activision. Please fire this man and employ me, I can literally double your workforce without increasing expenses, and you'd only have to pay me a paltry 14 million a year. (That's less than the CEO of Walmart!) PM me if you're interested!

Stuff likes this just makes me want to cry. No-one should have that much money, let alone this prick.

Hero in a half shell:
I wonder how much EA's CEO will be paid this year?

image

Oh right, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I decided to look up and see if Activision had laid anyone off recently, and found this article: http://kotaku.com/5985409/activision-lays-off-about-30-people-saying-there-will-be-fewer-licensed-games-this-year

30 People were laid off already in 2013, although they were mainly paperpushing jobs, not developers. However this statement is very interesting:

Approximately, 30 full-time employees have been impacted globally, which represents approximately one half of one percent of Activision Blizzard's employee population.

So 30 is one half of a percent, 60 is one percent, making approximately 600 the employee population of Activision.

Abomination:
At 80,000 a head you could hire 800 people on that salary.

How do these companies justify layoffs again?

His excessive salary could literally be used to double the number of employees in Activision at $84,000 per person, and still give him over 14 million a year.

Activision. Please fire this man and employ me, I can literally double your workforce without increasing expenses, and you'd only have to pay me a paltry 14 million a year. (That's less than the CEO of Walmart!) PM me if you're interested!

While I agree with most of your points your math is a bit off. 60 is %10 if 600. 60 would be %1 of 6000.

As far as I'm concerned he can keep all that money if he promises to stop smiling in pictures. That picture in the article is creeping me out *shudders*

On topic

I never like hearing about CEO's earning obscene amounts of money when the ordinary people in the company barely earn a fraction of that in their lifetime. Yay capitalism.

Zeren:

Hero in a half shell:
-snip-

While I agree with most of your points your math is a bit off. 60 is %10 if 600. 60 would be %1 of 6000.

Ah bollocks. I thought 600 was a little low. Guess there's a reason I'm not the CEO of a major corporation.

Hero in a half shell:
I wonder how much EA's CEO will be paid this year?

image

Oh right, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Actually he will be getting the same amount he was getting before he stepped down. As part of his severance package he gets two years of pay. Because even though he's gone he is still more valuable to EA than all those schmucks that used to make their games before being laid off for not being executives.

Do I think he's a competent CEO? Yes. Do I think he's overpaid? Of course. I love capitalism, and I'm all about CEO's making lots of money for their talents, but I don't think this man is worth that much. He got extremely lucky with Modern Warfare being developed under his roof and with all the right things coming together for the Blizzard deal. Should he reap sonme of the benefits? Yes, but not that much. There are people who can do his job a hell of a lot better.

I'll say the same thing I say about movie stars and professional athletes when I see people bitching about the crazy money they make. You can only make that much if someone is willing to pay you that much. Whether those people paying you are a board of directors or customers or whoever that money is coming from someone who thinks your value to a particular company or institution is worth said amount of money.

Anyway, 65 million is a drop in the bucket for a company like Activision. WoW alone has over 9 million subscribers at approximately $15 a month. Call of Duty always sells in obscene quantities. And I'm sure they have even more stuff that brings in slightly less obscene quantities of money. Beyond that though Activision has made quite the behemoth of it's self under ol' Bobby's leadership. If they weren't willing to pay him 65 million I'm sure he could find someone who would.

The long and short of it is that he's worth whatever the hell he can get someone to pay him. Some may think that 65 million is too much but Activision doesn't and it's Activision's money so if they feel that 65 million of that money should go to Bobby K then it seems the work he does is indeed worth 65 million dollars and he would have to be a total imbecile to turn it down.

So, now we know how much Acti pays him, but what about his profits from Coke?

Kotick doesn't deserve that much. He's terrible at just about all the requirements of his job. What the hell did he do to convince the board of directors to give him so many benefits instead of pumping the cash into game development? Hypnotize them?

Imagine that your job never really stops. You don't have weekends, and going home to see your family doesn't mean jack. If you screw up, you cost hundreds of people their jobs and piss away the money you borrowed from hundreds more. Also, no one will ever hire you again. CEO salaries aren't that ridiculous when you factor that stuff in.

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