Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Takes Huge Pay Cut

By Published On: October 28, 2021Categories: Gaming, News

Source: CNN

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has asked for a pay cut.

In a letter to Activision Blizzard employees, CEO Bobby Kotick has asked for what some gamers and industry members have seen as the unthinkable: a pay cut.

While there is no doubt that Kotick has been a steady hand at the helm of Activision Blizzard for 30 years, the most recent scandals at the company has shaken gamers’ trust in the brand. Sexual harassment allegations and the company’s response to changing their work culture has led many gamers to quit playing Activision Blizzard games. Some media outlets even went as far as to refuse to cover Activision Blizzard news.

In this letter, Kotick outlined a new policy regarding sexual harassment. “We are launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide – In the past, when we discovered and substantiated harassment, we terminated some employees and provided verbal or written warnings or different disciplinary actions to others. In retrospect, to achieve our goals for workplace excellence, this approach is no longer adequate. We need tougher rules and consistent monitoring across the entire company to make sure reports are being handled correctly and discipline is appropriate and swift. As a result, we are implementing a zero-tolerance policy across Activision Blizzard that will be applied consistently. Our goal is to have the strictest harassment and non-retaliation policies of any employer, and we will continue to examine and tighten our standards to achieve this goal everywhere we do business. Any Activision Blizzard employee found through our new investigative processes and resources to have retaliated against anyone for making a compliance complaint will be terminated immediately,” he said.

What raised eyes even further was Kotick’s willingness to take a substantial pay cut.

Kotick has been a controversial figure in the gaming industry, most notably caring about how profitable his games were versus the quality of said games. One scathing criticism of Kotick in the past was that he didn’t even play his own games. However, in more recent interviews, Kotick has tried to become closer to his player base. Given Kotick’s track record of his love of the bottom line to the point of compromising the quality of his own games (such as notably saying in 2009 he would raise the prices of his own games even further if it were up to him), the very idea of him taking a pay cut would be unthinkable.

“Accordingly, I have asked our Board of Directors to reduce my total compensation until the Board has determined that we have achieved the transformational gender-related goals and other commitments described above. Specifically, I have asked the Board to reduce my pay to the lowest amount California law will allow for people earning a salary, which this year is $62,500. To be clear, this is a reduction in my overall compensation, not just my salary. I am asking not to receive any bonuses or be granted any equity during this time,” he said, even forgoing bonuses and equity.

This pay cut is not permanent—only until Activision Blizzard reaches its goals. Despite making record profits in 2019, we must remember that Activision Blizzard is, in fact, a business. However, these actions may help rehabilitate the image of a man who was once considered one of the most controversial figures in the gaming industry and presided over one of the biggest scandals in gaming history.

About the Author: Jose Alvarez

A lifelong gamer and sports enthusiast. Takes pictures of food and loves to travel.