Activision’s salaries questioned

A key watchdog has bitten the rump of the boss of Activision claiming that his fat cat salary is a little too much.

Activision is doing rather well but its supreme boss Bobby Kotick appears to be making more cash than seems reasonable. According to Bloomberg his total cash-and-prizes compensation jumped from $8.1 million in 2011 to $64.9 million in 2012.

In terms of CEOs he is the second-highest paid CEO among publicly traded US companies and given there is a lot of competition for the top slots the idea that a games software CEO is worth that much is raising a few eyebrows. After all when the only person keeping you from winning the top slot is Larry Ellison you have to question how much you are getting paid.

Kotick is due for another $16 million if the company hits performance targets. Most of his dosh came in the form of stock awards valued at $55.9 million. His actual cash salary is still the same $8.33 million which it always was.

Nell Minow, of GMI Ratings, told Bloomberg that she did not like any element of Kotick’s pay package and has moaned about it before.

Minow said Activision isn’t being clear about how Kotick earned the money and the fact that there is little information provided by the compensation committee was a red flag.

She implied that the company’s committee was just picking numbers out of the air and not giving shareholders enough information as to how they came up with their reasoning.

Stock awards were sufficiently tied to Kotick’s performance and the whole compensation package is out of line with the rest of the video game industry.