EA CEO And Other Execs Gave Up Their Cash Bonuses

Andrew Wilson and other executives declined their cash bonuses and are giving the money to a developer bonus pool.

43 Comments
Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Octane Mythbusting | Apex Legends

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson and a series of other high-ranking executives at the publisher declined their cash bonuses for the latest financial year which ended March 31. This was confirmed in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing dated June 21 and reported on by GameDaily.

"Our CEO and his staff requested that they receive no performance cash bonus award for fiscal 2019," reads a line from the filing.

The filing mentioned that Wilson and other executives declined their cash bonuses due to EA's poor financial results in Fiscal Year 2019, and "in order to maintain alignment with our pay-for-performance executive compensation philosophy."

"While we are disappointed with our fiscal 2019 results, we understand the challenges we face, and we will continue to focus on how we can apply the strengths of our Company to capitalize on our opportunities," the statement explains.

EA made $4.95 billion for fiscal 2019, which was down from $5.15 billion during the previous fiscal year. The downturn in revenue might sound surprising given EA landed a huge hit with Apex Legends during the year. However, the title was only released in February 2019, which was just ahead of the end of the fiscal year in March. EA also had a few high-profile misses during the year, including Battlefield V and Anthem, both of which underperformed.

The other EA executives who declined their cash bonuses for the year included CFO Blake Jorgensen, CTO Kenneth Moss, chief marketing officer Chris Bruzzo, and chief studios officer Laura Miele. Patrick Soderlund, who quit EA in August 2018, also reportedly gave up his bonus. EA reportedly offered Soderlund $20 million in equity bonuses to stay at the company, but even so, he left to establish Embark Studios in Sweden. At the time, it was believed that Soderlund took the $20 million with him, but GameDaily reports that he did not; the funds are instead reportedly going into a pool to help secure new hires, among other purposes.

According to GameDaily, the EA executives declined their cash bonuses and instead put the money into a bonus pool to be paid to employees. Combined, the bonuses amount to around $4.8 million to be paid to employees, and that doesn't count the $20 million equity bonus from Soderlund, according to GameDaily.

The SEC filing also reveals that all of EA's Named Executive Officers (NEOs) received an increase to their base salary in Fiscal 2019. Wilson now makes $1.192 million annually, while Jorgensen gets $850,000. Moss and Bruzzo make $675,000 every year. Miele, who only just started as chief studios officer, makes $675,000 annually as well. Soderlund, who left EA during fiscal 2019, made $475,572 as a base salary. All numbers are in USD.

As you can see in the chart below, base salary is just the beginning when it comes to total compensation. Wilson's total pay package, including stock awards and other compensation, was $18.3 million for the latest fiscal year. That is just about half of what he earned the year prior. The "non-equity incentive plan compensation" is empty for all of the NEOs, and that's because they declined their cash bonuses.

No Caption Provided

In other EA news, Wilson says he believes BioWare's Anthem can find success in the future following its slow start earlier this year.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 43 comments about this story
43 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for JanesAnsible
JanesAnsible

Well, at least they did it. They need to polish up their image.

Avatar image for bigbluebustn
BigBlueBUSTN

those bonuses seem low compared to years past, i might be remembering something else though....just makes me think they arent really giving up anything

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

ea person ""we need to look good""

another ea person ""what would nintendo do""

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Feel kinda bad for Anthem. At its core there's something resembling what could have been a very good game, and in short bursts it can be a lot of fun, but it clearly needed an extra year or so of development, and at this point it's considered to be such a failure that it's unlikely to ever get a sequel or meaningful improvements

Avatar image for RogerioFM
RogerioFM

Cheap change for them.

Avatar image for Slash_out
Slash_out

Those execs earn way too much than they deserve, even without those bonuses they are grossly overpaid.

Not saying this because people don't deserve monstrous salaries, because yes they do if they do a good job that brings in a lot of dough. But because those execs are greedy motherf*ckers that have no idea or at least don't care what the gamers want, and only cares to milk us for more of that sweet coin.

At least now they gave up their bonuses, man this mist have hurt them. So very hard.

Will they wake up? Will they understand why they didn't make as much money? Will they understand that ripping off and taking advantage of customers lead to less sales? Or will they double down hoping to milk twice as hard the remaining customers?

Anyways, that bonus cut should be permanent ,and that money should go to those devs they are forcing down an unethical road.

Anyways, I guess this year the execs opened the wrong kinder egg, their bonuses was in another one! Damn surprise mechanics!

Avatar image for DarkCaptain3
DarkCaptain3

@Slash_out: I agree with this, I watched them too when they were in front of parliament and while I tried to stay neutral while watching I just couldn't help feel disgusted and saddened at the matter.

Avatar image for untouchables111
untouchables111

you know why at a job the company says dont talk income with fellow employees..... cause this..... it only makes people more made to learn that others who basically dooo almost nothing get paid sooo much money.. the world around rots while the rich get richer...

this is no different than housing market banking BS from a few years back. those banks fired CEOs and CFOs per the judgement passed on them... and handed them Millions walking out the door.... its trash its pissing on the hopes and dreams of the common people.

Avatar image for fanboyman
FanboyMan

Sadly this’s the most Nintendo thing EA has ever done (and probably ever will) too bad EA can’t also focus on quality control.

Avatar image for aproxinate
aproxinate

It's just those 6 people and they deserve almost 5 million in bonuses. Idk if I hate this society or mankind as a whole. I for one cant wait for WW3, if only it could be the world versus the elite though

Avatar image for kgsg-19-2
kgsg-19-2

@aproxinate: The hell is wrong w/ you.... You need some help son.

Avatar image for emmanuelguerrero
EmmanuelGuerrero

@aproxinate:

This is a perfect example of hate getting people nowhere. You are obviously frustrated by society. I understand, but you must understand that hate wont get you anywhere. Actually hate will just cause isolation and destroy you. Stop being spiteful, feeling sorry for yourself and actually do something positive. Do something positive for yourself and/or those you care about.

-Rant over.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@aproxinate: Only if it's the world versus you, (and it's televised so I can laugh at you).

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@aproxinate: I'm ready for WW3 but only if it's just you and you're on the front line against yourself.

Avatar image for lion2447
lion2447

@aproxinate: That's a horrible thing to say. Ya, they may be grossly overpaid and the company currently dealing with a terrible image, but in no way would that mean people need to die over it.

Online
Avatar image for fanboyman
FanboyMan

@aproxinate: so you’re OK with thousands of people dying because some rich a$$holes are overpaid?

The F*** is wrong with you!?

Avatar image for santinegrete
santinegrete

I wonder how good or bad it's to work for EA. For what I read about developing Anthem in Bioware, it seems heavy, the kind of "locking the door to cry or take sudden leaves" heavy.

Avatar image for Zignoff
Zignoff

I'm calling massive bull on this.

Avatar image for superklyph
SuperKlyph

@Zignoff: And you're massively wrong. They're publicly traded. It's pretty transparent.

Avatar image for untouchables111
untouchables111

@Zignoff: i would as well but since it was conformed with a 3rd party its real

Avatar image for conbot
Conbot

Well, between those 6 executives they are on track for nearly $60 million this year and last year 5 of them brought in $95 million.

Good for them for balling, but I have a hard time giving them any credit for this PR move.

Avatar image for jagdedge124
jagdedge124

Well, they have to shut down studios who have a habit of flopping. How many more DICE boondoggles could EA's marketshares endure? Close them down, and if you want to continue Battlefront and Battlefield, have Criterion and/or other studios do it.

EA Tiburon with Madden has seen a downtrend. Lay off half that studio, and maybe bring in new blood there.

NHL, as much of a fan i am, it don't sell (it's now free on xbox), and really no changes year after year. Eliminate that and NBA Live, and come out with NCAA Football and Basketball, and maybe a Baseball title.

Bioware may have to go as well.

You can't continue to do business, robbing peter to pay paul, in watering down titles, to come out with new IP's, being in the end, they're all going to lose, and cutting bonuses in effort to maybe save failed studios is not the way to go..

Avatar image for shadowwarrior4
shadowwarrior4

"poor financial results in fiscal year 2019"

BS!!

Avatar image for dynamotnt
dynamotnt

**** off Wilson. find a hole to die in.

Avatar image for sbargovox3
SbargoVox3

Read "EA" and "gives up" and almost had to check what timeline I was in; could it be EA's given up on loot box---- I mean surprise mechanicsbut sadly, no. I'm still in the worst timeline.

But hooray, they'll just weasel the money some other way anyway!

Avatar image for lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

Slight of hand?

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

They should be fired!

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

PR stunt. Most money CEOs make is through non-salary stock compensation.

Did he give up his stock grants for this year? No? Oh he's still going to get 20+ million in stock awards?

He's not giving up jack.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

@Thanatos2k: No doubt. Not a good deed, image perception.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

They're gonna take all that money they're saving and pass it on down to the gamers in the form of crazy awesome surprise mechanics!

I'm straight up jacked to my tits EA, you guys are the f***ing bomb!

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

Put me on the payroll, EA. I'll have your company making money hand over fist and it won't even need to be monetized. Just good old fashioned gameplay.

I been playing games since Pong, Commodore 64, Coleco Vision, Intellivision, and Atari 2600. I know what makes a good game.

I'm betting this single player Star Wars game will be EA's blockbuster hit and they think it's just a little game they through together, lol.

Get off the Live Services and get back to basics. Put out a finished product and look back to when your games were successful.

You don't have to always make more than the prior year, you just have to be profitable. Your stock will never crash if you're profitable.

Avatar image for m7stech
m7stech

Andrew If you really want to help the company and players just resign and get it over with

Avatar image for Archangel2222
Archangel2222

Can they make Fight Night Champion 2 for the current gen consoles please? Or a good Need for Speed game as the last really really blew

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

I want to know the details about this "developer bonus pool". Until that money is in the hands of the devs, as promised, I'm not impressed.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@Barighm: "Here's an extra 10 bucks"

Avatar image for vega2505
vega2505

If they gave up 4.8 million, then they obviously have billions in reserve so they don't really care and are trying to get good PR after they come out with some BS wordplay the likes of "alternative facts" with this "surprise mechanics" crap.

Can I get away with murder by calling it soul relocation?

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@vega2505: Don't be ridiculous.

You have to call it "life redistribution" if you want to avoid prison time.

Avatar image for Kyrylo
Kyrylo

How noble of them *sarcasm*

Avatar image for dr_vancouver
Dr_Vancouver

First of all, I'll say what I'm sure we're all thinking, what a bunch of heroes! Their names should be etched into earth's greatest monuments alongside our planets finest specimens.

I propose a future executive bonus structure going forward- loot box bonus! Now, annually executives may receive their one bonus crate that may contain such items as... duplicate outfits, duplicate cosmetic skins for their briefcases and experience boosters for profession classes that their profiles clearly identify that they have no interest in.

Avatar image for Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@dr_vancouver:

Brilliant! Clearly, we should be paying you the big bucks.