Activision Blizzard is doing very well when it comes to confusing all of us. After announcing a record year during an earnings review, it decided to let go of 800 employees in an 8 percent workforce cut, but its CEO is making some serious bank.
These three things shouldn't go together, although the latter probably shouldn't be as surprising as it is; it's just how things work in the corporate world. However, after cutting 800 jobs, one could be forgiven for thinking that things aren't so merry at the top.
Well, turns out it is, with As You Sow's report on The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs of 2019 featuring both Activision's Bobby Kotick and EA's Andrew Wilson. They're in very good company too, with Walt Disney's Bob Iger and Netflix's Reed Hastings also helping make up the 100.
The publication uses pay data to reveal pay disparity in publicly traded American companies and recently published a report, having considered more than just yearly earnings as factors such as total shareholder return and votes against CEO wage packages came into play as well. The methods for calculating the exact excess is also detailed in the report.
Kotick happens to be No.45 on the ranked list of overpaid CEOs and, according to the data, has a pay ratio of 301:1 compared to a median worker at Activision. He is said to earn $28,698,375 per year, with the excess being $12,835,277 more than he should be taking home, per the organization's estimates.
Wilson, meanwhile, ranks at 98 on the list and is noted as earning a yearly salary of $35,728,764 and $19,673,861 in excess (371:1 ratio). Apparently, his paycheck was supported by 97 percent of the votes from shareholders.
The pay ratio as it relates to CEO and median workers has seen a much wider gap come into existence over the past several decades.
"If you look at the pay of top CEOs relative to workers, that ratio in the 1950s was 20 to 1, was about 30 to 1 by the late '70s, and by the mid-1990s it was 120 to 1," Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary for President Bill Clinton, explained during a call with Axios recently. ”When I was working in the White House that was a cause of real concern. That ratio seemed appalling to most people. Now it’s 300 to 1."
Anyhoo, let's just remind you that Activision laid off 800 people. If it didn't before, it seems grossly unfair now.