Activision's Bobby Kotick Sees 800 Percent Pay Raise

It's games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft that have helped boost Kotick's massive salary.

by on 29th Apr, 2013

Activision Blizzard has been doing pretty well for itself this generation. You could look to the always-profitable World of Warcraft as the source of the company’s cash flow, or perhaps that ever-expanding Call of Duty series. The publishing house has some of the largest, most profitable properties under its roof, and it’s CEO Bobby Kotick who seems to be claiming the rewards.

Last year, Kotick increased his compensation by 800 percent, seeing $64.9 million entering his bank account. According to Bloomberg, this makes him one of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S. Most of that money came in stock awards that were connected to a new employment agreement signed in March 2012, valued at around $55.9 million. These funds will vest over the next five years of his employment, bringing his actual cash salary for 2012 to $8.33 million – a figure much more analogous with his 2011 figure.

As it sits right now, Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison is the highest paid CEO with a $96.2 salary, but Kotick sits at number two. And if Activision’s main man manages to hit the highest performance targets for 2013 (which he missed last year), an additional $16 million may be coming his way.

“We don’t like any element of this pay package,” said GMI Ratings corporate-governance consultant Nell Minow. "In the past we have expressed concern about this company and its compensation practices."

"The lack of information provided by the compensation committee is a red flag," Minow continued. "It’s very difficult to discern how they determined this compensation package from the information that’s been provided."

How will Kotick hit these targets? If we had to guess, it all starts with the soon-to-be-announced Call of Duty: Ghosts.

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