The exploitative capitalism shows its ugly rear: those who are laid off get laughable compensation, while the company’s CEO is getting an unbelievable bonus. The latter is highly criticised by an investment group.
Yesterday, we discussed how fifty people from the eSports and live events team will be let go from Activision Blizzard, which continues to break records with its profits. (This „I have a good year, but I must fire people” thought was already used in 2019…) But now, we don’t hear 50 people. Instead, we hear that 189 people are getting fired. They get three months of severance and… this is not a joke, a 200-dollar gift card for the Battle.net store. The latter costs absolutely nothing for the publisher.
Now let’s go into the new details by GameSpot. Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard is going to get 200 million dollars in cash bonus as part of the Shareholder Value Creation Scheme. The shares are worth a lot nowadays, and the gaming industry is flying while the coronavirus global pandemic is happening. Kotick’s employment agreement also mentions this. In short, Kotick gets paid if, by the end of 2021, Activision Blizzard’s share price is twice the average of what it was between October-December 2016, and if it’s managing to keep it for at least 90 consecutive days.
CtW Investment Group doesn’t agree with this. This is the same company that criticised Kotick’s payout in June last year, but they also had Electronic Arts in their targets. „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. Many factors 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,” CtW’s director of executive compensation research Michael Varner said.
As WCCFTech writes, just 0.5% of the 200 million payout (so one million dollars) and if we count an average annual 50K wage for one person, this cut would have saved 20 jobs. And we can’t argue any further – sometimes, a little less can be much more for others.