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Activision Blizzard squeezes exec compensation vote win

Activision Blizzard squeezes exec compensation vote win

US publishing giant Activision Blizzard managed to win the advisory vote that determines the compensation of its CEO, Robert Kotick.

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the company's pay plan was met with just 54 per cent approval from its shareholders.

"We are pleased that, based on exceptional shareholder returns and responsiveness, Activision Blizzard shareholders again approved our say-on-pay proposal and reelected our Board directors with an average of 96% of votes," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said.

"The additional time shareholders requested allowed them to thoroughly review the facts about Activision Blizzard's rigorous pay-for-performance compensation practices as well as changes the Board made to our executive compensation based on extensive feedback from shareholders."

This followed Activision Blizzard delaying its Say-on-Pay vote for one week in the wake of criticism over how Kotick was compensated. The firm announced in April that it was making changes to the CEO's pay and compensation – which nominally saw this cut in half – as well as his contract, with CtW Investment Group saying that these changes mean nothing to Kotick's other equity bonuses.

Activision Blizzard has also refuted CtW's claims that it has had low support for Say-on-Pay votes, citing the 82 per cent and 92 per cent support it had in 2019 and 2018 respectively. However, Activision Blizzard saw only 69.8 per cent, 65.4 per cent, 66.3 per cent and 59.7 per cent of shareholders voting in its favour in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. That's before the 2020 vote, which saw just 56.8 per cent of investors voting its way.

Last year, CtW said that Activision Blizzard had "unnecessarily enriched" Kotick through its compensation. The firm's ire isn't limited to Activision Blizzard either; CtW has levelled criticism at Electronic Arts, too, leading to shareholders to voting down a proposal for exec pay.


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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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