Bobby Kotick's 2012 contract delivers up to $64.9m payout

Latest contract awards Activision CEO five-year stock options that could pay up to 800 percent more money than the $8m he earnt in 2011.

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Update: An Activision representative has contacted GameSpot to state that Bloomberg has since revised its story to emphasise the distinction between Kotick's annual salary and his stock options, and that the CEO's performance related five-year stock options make up the bulk of the additional extra income reported in the SEC filing. GameSpot has subsequently amended its article.

Call of Duty maker Activision's CEO Bobby Kotick saw an 800 percent raise in potential earnings with his latest contract, as new stock options left the executive with up to $64.9 million extra in the bank. In the 2011 financial year his total pay was $8.1 million.

Kotick is now a contender for the second highest paid public-company CEO in the US, Bloomberg reports, behind Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

The vast majority of Kotick's pay increase came from $55.9 million in stock awards, based on performance, which will vest over the next five years. His total cash salary for 2012 was inline with his previous earnings: $8.33 million.

Activision's report states that Kotick exceeded his performance goals on operating income, diluted earnings per share, and free cash flow. Kotick did not meet his target in the expansion of profit margins, however.

Kotick will receive another $16 million if he steers Activision towards its highest performance targets in 2013.

“We don’t like any element of this pay package,” said GMI Ratings corporate-governance consultant Nell Minow to Bloomberg. "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," continued Minow. "It’s very difficult to discern how they determined this compensation package from the information that’s been provided."

Activision states that it now has a market value of $16.5 billion, and posted a net income of $1.15 billion for the financial year.

The publisher is rumoured to be unveiling its next Call of Duty title on May 1.

Discussion

235 comments
WautraetsM
WautraetsM

AT least they put their games on Steam, something that other publisher refuses to do.

Elann2008
Elann2008

Well, no wonder developers are getting laid off and studios getting shutdown.  Wonderful CEOs like Bobby Koochiehead here reaps all the money.  Fantastic..

zamolxe
zamolxe

Bobby Kotick for Galactic Emperor!

Ceclor
Ceclor

I am trying to think of a reason why I care about news on Kotnick's monetary income. 

Oh, that's right.  I do not care.

Just keep the guy off of my collector's edition developer DVDs.  Listening to him stumble through a game's lore description is hard to watch and listen to. 

MikefStktn
MikefStktn

Bobby Kotnick has been in this industry going on 3 decades starting as a programmer. Worked his way up to CEO while raking in millions, not only for himself but for the company Activison. Many people don't get this far without making enemies. He has pubicly brought what the majority has wanted in games. Many of the vast public do not follow the inner struggles of gaming companies just the games themselves. Those devoted to games like ourselves feel that it is up to us to inform the majority of what's happening and I feel that would be true. If we followed another product like Crest or a major gasoline company we might find another "Bobby Kotnick".But would you change your buying habits to bring down a company like this for another product? Or would you just see it as I don't care I need "x" product my one sale won't matter?

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Man, this just sounds all kinds of wrong to me. Or maybe it's just me being jealous. XD

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

This guy is literally a fat cat.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

There was a time when such news doesn't even interest me. Hey, it's Activision's (bundling all debtors and stockholders in that category) money. Then came the financial crash of 07-08, and many companies had to be bailed out, by MY taxes. Although 38 Studios doesn't affect me directly, I can see myself in Rhode Island taxpayers' shoes.

I have only respect for Mr. Kotick's ability to score such a large compensation package; if everything keeps flying high, power to him and Activision. If things don't work out, I want whoever is responsible for the spending to be the only ones left holding the bucket. That's the problem with America today, a few ride the crest of success but somehow the public shoulders the burden of failure.

hartattk
hartattk

All this hate for Kotick.


Activision hired Kotick to do exactly what he is doing now, make them loads of dosh. His practices of flooding the market and raping developers is how Activision wants to do things, because it ultimately makes them rich. It makes sense that stocks options would be presented to employees to inspire performance and the financial savior of the company would be getting the best options possible.


Really though you can't blame him for his potential earnings or the mess Activision leaves in its wake, because ultimately Activision as a company and we as consumers are to blame.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

The best part is at most he is paying 15 cents on the dollar in taxes(likely less than any of you that work a job) on that $55.9 million... That being said this isn't exactly a cash pay out but its complete bull shit that our tax system has so many loop holes(yes this includes the welfare moms). 

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

A Robin Hood-like person needs to come in, get that money from him, and pay it out to his employees and the people he cheated when he fired them without giving them the compensation they deserved. This man is a thief and doesn't deserve his position. One can only pray for misfortune to befall someone like Kotick.

dussan2
dussan2

It's the stocks folks, not just a salary.  He gets a cut of the Activision stocks which is why he earned that money.  

Call of Duty
Diablo III
World of Warcraft
Rock Band 

 And this clown is going to make sure we get a Call of Duty every year.

sergiodoom
sergiodoom

This guy sold his soul to Satan!

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

I wonder how the rank and file Activision employees feel about that? I'm guessing they might be wondering how this guy can get paid roughly 1000 times more than one might guess an average salary at Activision might be. 

He's worth 1000 people?

jrh1524
jrh1524

This guy is ABSOLUTELY NOT being paid what he deserves people.  Do you think he's going to get a fair package wen the compensation comitee is almost completly made up of the CEO's buddies?

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

the death of the middle class is due to ceos like this scumbag bobby kotick at activision. he gets more greedy every year, lauging at our comments.

blackothh
blackothh

eff that,  a 12 year old could do his job, in fact probably would get better games out of a 12 year old.

d_kell411
d_kell411

God I hate this man. He's the worst thing to happen to the industry. You want to complain about how impersonal developers are now? About DRM? About overpriced DLC? Here, gentlemen, is the root of all evil...the industry hates him, and yet he has an 800% increase in pay this year. If Activision ever bothered to read feedback on the guy, they'd realize that we hate this guy, hate this bit of news, hate the way they treat their franchises, hate the way they treat their developers...and that only gamers who know nothing of this company or its practices are zombified enough to buy their lousy games year after year.

CaptainGamespot
CaptainGamespot

"Activision CEO earns over 800 percent more in 2012 than he did in 2011." layoffs, blood sweat, & tears of employees to make products.

f*** this guy.  how f***ing greedy is he? i stop buying cod long ago, as well as acti producs.

666Rich666
666Rich666

90% of that money came from parents who bought their 12 year old kids call of duty.

Paulf001
Paulf001

If your the CEO of a company you can pay yourself whatever you want.  Thank all the people that buy CoD for his high pay. 

okassar
okassar

He didn't meet profit margin goals but got a 800% increase? Lol. There's something fishy about this, especially since Activision is far from being big enough to pay such a salary to its CEO in any case.

deth420
deth420

yeah, cause he necessitates, or deserves all of this money...  greedy pricks

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

Behold the riches of hard work and success! Surely Mr Kotick is the master alchemist of winning formulas.

demon-returns
demon-returns

I find all these comments hilarious and funny lol

Guess who made him rich?? The same people that go out and buy COD year after year after year after.....ahh you get the point.

He'll be raking in more of your money again come this November when you go buy the next COD hahaha 

PatchMaster
PatchMaster

This dude makes 1000 times what his employees do and yet conservatives will blame the poor for what's wrong with the economy. Sad.

blackace
blackace

No CEO should make that much money. It's ridiculous. This guy is an arrogant idiot to boot.

brxricano
brxricano

Meh, who cares. Hating on what is technically a complete stranger's finances is a miserable existence. He's rich, he's fat, so what. In all honesty, looking at these comments, I'd hate to be you Bobby, lol.

Shawshoe
Shawshoe

He may be rich, but he's still got a face like a pig's arse.

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

That's just sick...it could have been a 1,666 percent increase had it not been for those blasted used game and pirating!!!

Zoza24
Zoza24

MY fellow gamers, this is 1 of the best reason why we should support independent developers such as CD Projekt RED and many others.. we cant rely on publishers like Activision and EA. fuck them!.

Cowboy-Bebop
Cowboy-Bebop

@CaptainGamespot And yet people keep buying his games to give him his salary. The middle class is dying because of lazy people our Government keeps supporting on our dime.

d_kell411
d_kell411

@blackothh Most definitely. A 12 year old would actually play his video games.

saltbalsak
saltbalsak

@Paulf001 That's incorrect. For a publically traded company (like Activision), the Board Of Directors hires the CEO and approves the compensation.

For a privately held company the owners of the company hire the CEO (if it's not themselves) and determine salary, and any profit is split among the private shareholders based upon their ownership percentages.

666Rich666
666Rich666

@okassar on the bright side look how fat he is in that pic... he wont live all that long

d_kell411
d_kell411

@Zoza24 Now if only there were more developers like CD Projekt...the world would be a better place. As it stands, however, we're dangerously close to a monopoly of either only EA or Activision gaming.

Zoza24
Zoza24

@d_kell411 @Zoza24  Jup, Developers must keep their own ground to fund their studio somehow, just like how valve did..