Bobby Kotick’s paycheck is even more controversial than usual this year, despite a significant cut to the Activision Blizzard CEO’s salary for this year and next.
After delaying the vote last week, Activision Blizzard shareholders ultimately approved the company’s Say-On-Pay proposal, though just shy of half of those shareholders voted against the package.
Ultimately, the motion passed with 54 percent of shareholders in support, down from 57 percent in 2020 and down from numbers in the 60, 80, and 90 percents in years prior.
The delayed vote came after the investment group CtW called out the proposed pay package for Kotick as “smoke and mirrors” rather than a meaningful reduction in the CEO’s pay, and urged other investors to vote against the deal. CtW argued in an open letter published earlier this month that other elements of Kotick’s compensation package render his salary reduction of $1.75 million to $875,000 moot, and that the package fails to address longstanding shareholder concerns with overcompensation.
Activision Blizzard fired back the next week, lightly implying that the CtW statement was misleading while urging its shareholders to carefully consider the information in front of them before putting pen to paper to vote. The company maintained that the package includes meaningful compensation changes like Kotick’s salary reduction, changes it says were made with the express purpose of addressing shareholder concerns.
Following today’s shareholder vote, a statement from Activision Blizzard shows that the company believes the delay was the correct move.
“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,” reads that statement. “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.”