A New York Times report detailing executive pay for the top companies in the United States shows an increase that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million a leap of 16 percent from 2011. But the more interesting aspect of the report is who is on top. It should be noted that when the NYT says executive pay that includes any bonuses, benefits and salary – and sometimes these bonuses are spread out over multiple years.
Having noted that, the report shows that Activision CEO Robert A. Kotick of Activision Blizzard is second in compensation behind Lawrence J. Ellison, founder and C.E.O. of Oracle. Most of the money isn't from actual salaries, but from generous stock options and bonuses.
Activision spokeswoman Cassandra Bujarski, told the Times Mr. Kotick’s equity award of $56 million was part of a "new five-year employment contract he signed in March 2012," after two decades as chief executive. The award vests over five years, and half is performance-based, she said. This is an important distinction because often these kinds of bonuses have to be reported in the year they are created, which means that it looks like Kotick made that money in one year when it is actually spread out over several.
Still that's a big chunk of change.