CtW Investment Group, whose mission is to hold “directors accountable for irresponsible and unethical corporate behavior,” has issued a condemnation of the reported $200M USD bonus that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is set to receive as part of a “Shareholder Value Creation Incentive” provision in his employment agreement after the company announced it was laying off 50 employees on Tuesday.
“While the increase in Activision’s stock price is somewhat commendable, as we stated last year and continue to assert, this achievement alone does not justify such a substantial pay outcome for the CEO,” Director of Executive Compensation Research Michael Varner said in the statement. “There are many factors that may contribute to a rise in this particular company’s stock price that may not be directly attributable to Robert Kotick’s leadership. The use of video games as one of the few entertainment options available amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has been a boon to many companies in the gaming industry irrespective of executive talent or strategic decisions.”
As reported by Gamespot, Kotick is the beneficiary of a provision inside the “Shareholder Value Creation Incentive” portion included in his employment agreement that allows the CEO to receive the full amount as it relates to an equity payout from past years whether or not certain goals or milestones were achieved. This results in Kotick being on the receiving end of cash rewards going as far back as 2017.
The $200M bonus Kotick is set to receive is