Bobby Kotick, the Activision-Blizzard CEO who is highly-paid even while his company burns jobs, has voluntarily agreed to cut his own salary by half, going from $1,750,000 to $875,000. At the same time, he has also agreed to stay with the company through March 2023 with caveats that end up actually paying him more money than what he just gave up.
A recent Securities & Exchange Commission filing detailed Kotick’s extension agreement, in which the longtime Activision head is promised a 200% bonus of that reduced salary if Activision hits some target goals. There’s absolutely no reason for it not to hit these target goals, so he’s actually not, like, making a lot less money here. He’s basically set up to be making about as much as he was as long as things don’t go catastrophically wrong.
So why even bother? Because another recent filing with the SEC lodged by Activision shareholders complained that a surprising number of bonuses were set up specifically to enrich Kotick and they wanted to know why. With that kind of pressure mounting, it seems like Kotick and Activision wanted to engage in a little theater.
Which is not to say that Kotick won’t be making less on a fundamental level, he is and that’s pretty nice to see. But it is plainly clear that the numbers are a little deceptive here and that’s exactly what they’re going for. They’re cutting a fingertip so you don’t notice the rest of the hand.