Activision-Blizzard shareholders have approved the company’s Say-On-Pay proposal by a narrow margin, with 54% of the votes in favor of the executive's remuneration package. This is more or less what happened in 2020, when 57% voted in favor, but a significant drop in support over previous years: in 2019 the vote was 82% in favor and in 2018 92% .
The Say-On-Pay vote allows shareholders, well, to have an opinion on what Activision-Blizzard pays for the best shares. Several investment groups have begun on how CEO Bobby Kotick is paid, for example, to the extent that Activision made "substantial and sustainable reductions in CEO compensation," including a reduction in base salary and Kotick’s cash bonus of 50%, making up 95% of its total compensation based on performance and relationship to other corporate goals.
The CtW investment group was unconvinced, describing these changes as "smoke and mirrors" rather than significant changes, while urging other investors to vote against them. CtW argued that Kotick's global compensation package makes the apparent pay cut questionable.
Activision Blizzard disagreed, and fortunately for the lawsuits, it did enough with shareholders as well (though it’s worth adding that it was a more than binding advisory vote).
So don’t worry: Mr. Kotick won’t be reduced to eating rice and beans, much less. The Financial Times calculates that after this vote, the executive will receive an impressive $ 155 million for these different compensation systems, roughly the same ones he took home last year.
Activision-Blizzard's board would point out in Kotick's defense that it has taken Activision's market value from less than $ 10 million in 2000 to more than $ 70 billion today, an increase of 8,100 percent. Scrooge on the return of shareholders during this same period.
"We are pleased that, based on exceptional shareholder profitability and responsiveness, Activision Blizzard shareholders re-approved our payment proposal and re-elected our directors with an average of 96% of the vote." , said an Activision Blizzard representative in an email. "The additional time requested by shareholders allowed them to thoroughly review the facts about Activision Blizzard's rigorous pay-as-you-go compensation practices, as well as the changes the Board made to our executive compensation. based on broad shareholder feedback. "
After the vote, CtW executive Michael Varner told GI.biz that the last word on the matter was has not been spoken: "Activision is expected to make additional changes in response to a vote in which 46% of shareholders expressed dissatisfaction, they will not be able to" rest on their laurels "only with the changes they have made so far to the salary of In addition, this is the sixth time in the last eight years that Activision has received less than 70% support for its Say on Pay proposal, and the 2021 vote is the lowest support the company has received. on this proposal in its history ".