[Update: Kotick did not in fact receive $64.9 million (an 8x pay increase) in 2012. He received $8.33 million, as he did in 2011. Bloomberg, the source of our post, updated its article to reflect this, now pretend you understand how businesses and stocks work:
"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."
In short, Kotick is rich, just not insane "I am going to build my own Dubai on the moon, bitches!" rich.]
Activision recently submitted a regulatory filing, and one of the pieces of information immediately jumps off the page. Bobby Kotick, the company's CEO, received almost eight times more money in 2012 than he did in 2011.
Because of incentives that were tied into a new employment agreement, Kotick's annual income skyrocketed from $8.33 million in 2011 to $64.9 million in 2012. Stock awards that were valued at $55.9 million made up the vast majority of this pay bump. The raise places Kotick as the second-most highly-paid U.S. CEO of of publicly-traded companies; the CEO of Oracle Corp. holds the top spot.
When reached for comment about Activision's filing, Nell Minow, a corporate-governance consultant at GMI Ratings admitted that Kotick's base salary and incentive structure are "richer than what's expected for the videogame sector." Minow further commented "we don't like any element of this pay package," noting that Activision hasn't been clear about how pay was determined and that stock grants aren't sufficiently tied to performance. Minow also added that "In the past, we have expressed concern about this company and its compensation practices."