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Activision Blizzard Merger Generates $40 Million Payday For Top Executives

| 11 Dec 2007 19:00
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The top two executives at Activision stand to split roughly $40 million as a result of the company's recent merger with Vivendi.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Activision Chairman and CEO Robert Kotick, who will take over as President and Chief Executive of Activision Blizzard, and Brian Kelly, co-chairman of Activision who will hold the same position at the newly-formed company, each stand to receive $10 million in "change-of-control" cash bonuses. Along with that, they will each receive 363,637 restricted shares in the company, worth approximately $10 million more at current market values.

Kotick will also receive another 1.25 million shares, linked to performance, over the next five years, and was given a further 1.85 million share options at the prevailing market rate. Other benefits they were due as a result of a takeover were waived by both men.

According to figures released last week by Vivendi, the company's Blizzard Entertainment arm, responsible for the World of Warcraft MMOG, is expected to generate $517 million in operating profit on sales of $1.11 billion this year, without including the cost of stock-based compensation, based on subscriptions and other revenues. World of Warcraft recently topped the 9 million user mark worldwide.

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