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.