50 per cent voluntary pay cut for Activision Blizzard’s CEO

After significant layoffs during the pandemic

Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick has taken a voluntary 50 per cent pay cut in line with company targets.

The pay cut comes as his contract is renewed until 2023, to more closely reflect company targets with an $875,000 reduction in base salary. His bonus pay will also see a dramatic reduction, as an annual target bonus has also been cut by 50 per cent.

Company shareholders had previously raised concerns that Kotick was being paid too highly, a complaint which was supported by CtW Investment Group who assess excessive executive pay. Activision Blizzard also let many of its staff go during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Reportedly, up to 190 employees were let go from the company over the pandemic, as the world saw a reduction in in-person events. An unnamed insider at Activision Blizzard shared with Bloomberg that this affected just under 2 per cent of the company’s workforce.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement: “Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally and the e-sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events”.

In the filing, which is publicly available, it is noted that Kotick has managed the company through a period of substantial growth – taking the market capitalisation from less than $10m to over $70b. Under his leadership, the company has also seen an 8,100 per cent increase in returns for shareholders in the last 20 years.

It was announced in early February that Activision Blizzard is planning to hire up to 3000 people this year, in the production and development sectors. It is currently unclear if those plans have changed following the recent round of layoffs.

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