Activision CEO cuts own pay to $62,500 amid company's sexual harassment lawsuit

Daniel Sims

Posts: 453   +18
Staff
What just happened? This week, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick announced to investors that he has asked for his salary to be cut to the lowest legal amount for California this year. It is one of the commitments he's promised to address the controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard's multiple investigations over discrimination and sexual harassment.

In a letter published on Activision Blizzard's investor relations page, Kotick asks the board of directors to cut his total compensation to $62,500 until it determines the company has achieved "transformational gender-related goals" along with a series of commitments he lays out in the letter. Kotick also asked to receive no bonuses or equity compensation until they determine he has met these obligations.

In the letter, Kotick proposed a company-wide zero-tolerance policy for harassment. That means no longer using written warnings and terminating employees found retaliating against anyone making a complaint. Kotick wants to increase the number of women and non-binary people in Activision Blizzard by 50 percent while dedicating $250 million to boost opportunities for diverse talent. He also says employees will no longer be required to arbitrate sexual harassment and discrimination claims.

In April, Kotick took a 50 percent pay cut and a 50 percent reduction in his target bonus, but he was still eligible to earn up to 200 percent of that cut salary. Earlier, in March, an investment group criticized Kotick over a bonus payment it says was worth almost $200 million.

However, over the summer, the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment slapped Activision Blizzard with a lawsuit for allegedly allowing a "frat house" culture rife with sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees. It received complaints from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Communication Workers of America , the former of which Activision later settled for $18 million. The company also came under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since then, at least 20 employees have left Activision Blizzard, including Blizzard's former president, chief legal officer, and multiple game designers.

The ABK Workers Alliance—a group of Activision Blizzard employees the emerged to seek changes in the company after the lawsuit started, called Kotick's announcement "a huge win." It particularly praised the removal of forced arbitration. "We still stand firm by our demand that the investigation must be done by an unbiased third party, of which WilmerHale is not one."

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winjer

Posts: 424   +1,934
Let's remember that he allowed this toxicity to fester in Activision for years.
Only now, is he taking action. But only because of external pressure, from lawyers, gamers, journalists and politicians.
Also consider he is a billionaire. He already has so much money and barely pays taxes, he could stop having a wage and suffer nothing for it.
In the end, it's little more than a PR stunt to try to appease the public outcry.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 175   +197
1. no one would actually give a sh!t about the CEO's salary if all the employees would earn a decent salary
2. I couldn't possibly care less about representation, gender equality or whatever binary or non specific gender you identify as. This shouldn't be a reason to be hired or fired
3. If you can't take jokes, GTFO and search some other job.
4. Since Sh@tzzard only cares about the holy profit, I'm only playing for the old games (Starcraft, for the most part) and not at all about what politically correct changes they will make for the next Diablo. By the way, I've refunded Warcraft III AND Diablo II, and I'm done with buying anything for Blizzard, there's quite nothing they can do that can raise the slightest interest for me:
- any non-free game with microtransactions included is a no-go, so Diablo Immortal, Warcraft Mobile or Diablo IV "pay-the-skin" edition don't interest me.
As long as I can play Starcraft, I'm good...
 

Zinixo

Posts: 59   +39
They can eat sh and die for all I care...beyond done with blizzard- activision.

How or why you would take 20+ year loyal customer's and turn them against you is beyond me but if money is all you care about then no more money for you.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 175   +197
They can eat sh and die for all I care...beyond done with blizzard- activision.

How or why you would take 20+ year loyal customer's and turn them against you is beyond me but if money is all you care about then no more money for you.
Simple: they don't want the money, they want ALL the money.
Instead of taking care of their employees, they choose to go "full woke" and by that I also mean "full retard". Ok, john-or-jane harrassed someone? give them the boot. but don't change the maps, jokes or character names just to appease the crazy Twitter crowd.
And also, where the hell is the Warcraft III update? Where's the LAN in Diablo II? The Ladder?
Oh, well... guess I'm done with them...
 

theruck

Posts: 548   +345
Its easy to lower your salary after you have several years like this...
Compensation vs Market: Bobby's total compensation ($USD154.61M) is above average for companies of similar size in the US market ($USD11.05M).

Compensation vs Earnings: Bobby's compensation has increased by more than 20% in the past year.

+ he owns $246 millions worth of stock of ATVI
poor guy
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 1,058   +863
That's tough! Would his great great great great great great grand kids be able to buy 3 mansions 10 sports cars, gold plated iphones and 1 or 2 planets in space?