Update: A representative for Activision points out that Bloomberg has updated its original story, and that because Activision is a public company it has to account for compensation in the year it is granted, even though the amount of performance-based compensation Kotick would receive under the new agreement he signed in 2012 would be vested over a five year period. Here's the update from the Bloomberg story we sourced:
"The bulk of the increase for Kotick came in stock awards valued at $55.9 million, based on regulatory reporting rules, that were tied to a new employment agreement signed in March 2012, according to a filing yesterday by the video-game software company. While vesting stretches over five years, the awards are reported in the year of the grant. Kotick, 50, received $8.33 million in total compensation last year, filings show."
Original Story: While this will likely not a shock to anyone that follows the games industry closely, it is still a staggering figure to many: Activision's CEO earned over 800 percent more in 2012 than he did in 2011. Bobby Kotick saw an 800 percent increase in pay and bonuses and other compensation. He went from $8.1 million in 2011 to a staggering $64.9 million in 2012. Kotick is the second highest paid public-company CEO in the US, according to Bloomberg who puts his earnings just behind Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
The vast majority of Kotick's pay increase in 2012 came from $55.9 million in stock awards, which will vest over the next five years. His total cash salary for 2012 was in line with his previous earnings: $8.33 million. Kotick will receive another $16 million if Activision hits its higher end performance targets in 2013, according to filings by Activision.
Of course, financial analysts don't like the amount of money Kotick is raking in.
"We don’t like any element of this pay package," said GMI Ratings corporate-governance consultant Nell Minow to Bloomberg. "In the past we have expressed concern about this company and its compensation practices. The lack of information provided by the compensation committee is a red flag. It’s very difficult to discern how they determined this compensation package from the information that’s been provided."