A slim majority of Acti-Blizz investors approved its ‘say-on-pay’ policy after vote extension

    
13

Score another win for the C-suite.

As we’ve been covering, Activision-Blizzard investors purportedly represented by CtW Investment Group had been agitating to vote down the company’s “say-on-pay” policy and curb its executive payout excesses. Last year, the group was successful at EA but could only declare spiritual victory at AB when it convinced only 43% of shareholders to vote down “say-on-pay.” The group increased its margin during this year’s vote, but only to 46% of the vote – not the majority it needed, which effectively gives the board another year of shenanigans. The vote was especially unusual because it had already been extended an extra week and allowed executives to pressure shareholders to vote their way as well as disparage industry reporting on the situation.

CtW was pretty grumpy about the loss, suggesting AB “arm-twisting” was barely enough for victory.

“Such marginal support for Say on Pay votes is extremely rare: fewer than 4% of companies in the broader Russell 3000 index receive support around 50%, with average support in the S&P 500 at 88.6%. This vote, conducted after last week’s desperate attempt to avoid a loss, marks the sixth time in the past eight years Activision has received less than 70% support for its Say on Pay proposal, and the lowest support the company has received on this proposal in its history. The 46% of shareholders who expressed discontent will now certainly exert pressure on Activision to enact further changes. We urge the Board to take a long look in the mirror and make substantial changes to Mr. Kotick’s pay in response to shareholders’ clear mandate.”

MMO readers will recall that earlier this year in the middle of yet another round of corporate layoffs (at least the fourth in the last couple of years that we know of), Kotick was poised to scoop up as much as $200M more in payouts. Following the backlash, Activision’s board said it would halve Kotick’s base salary and annual bonus in the future, without actually touching or directly denying the $200M figure.

Source: CTW Group PR, Kotaku. Cheers, Schlag.
Advertisement

No posts to display

13
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Stefan
Reader
Stefan

This is a good development, lay offs and paying the top head such a bonus while the product quality is also declining.

I also do not find that Kotick did a good job while revenue streams are up by further monetizing if not milking their products i find that both Blizzard and Activision lack future vision when it comes to their gaming products which is a repeat of things that worked in the past.That is completely disconnected from my personal feelings towards the man and how lowly he thinks of the gaming scene as head of gaming company to begin with.

Perhaps this also has an incentive for certain people not interested in gaming as a product, hobby or just a general thing to look for greener pastures, less MBAs and more creative minds in charge.

Yes a pipe dream but i also did not expect that this would happen to begin with, shows that small investors have more influence than first thought, when they get organized.

Reader
Utakata

If Kotick job was to turn Blizz into a faceless money churning machine, he’s probably done a good job. If Kotick’s job was to turn Blizz into a gaming entity that has the best interest of players, then he’s most likely failed. I don’t think his creditors are all too concerned about the latter. Also see: Enabling shit-gibbons because of bottom lines.

Reader
bobfish

Kotick saved the company from bankruptcy and turned into the most successful gaming company in the world. For shareholders, who are primarily in it to make money, he’s the perfect man for the job and always has been.

Reader
Utakata

Saved or “saved”?

Stefan
Reader
Stefan

That depends how you look at it as said below while he did make it financially more stable by killing off random projects that did make Blizzard bleed money all over without actual results but even that is only one way of looking at it, same goes for saving costs on QA departments, i as a person with an investor mindset myself would not buy Blizzard stock.

Because as it stands now the lack of future vision is good for maintaining and while it can remain a value stock i am of opinion that value stocks in the entertainment industry that stagnate and do not present new products have a limited life span. So i see it dropping off and losing value especially in a high competitive industry where development and publishing has gotten more accessible.

I do not see them attracting a whole lot of new players they retain some players, while it mostly goes towards a seasonal structure and WoW’s and CoD both patch cycle is not well suited for that, their numbers also show a retention problem is forming.

Entertainment companies that end up being predictable and thus boring in their development cycle do not seem a great investment, it is also not like they are EA, EA has a far more diverse product range where as their sports games do a lot for them.

I can keep going even, while all entertainment companies did well during Corona i do not find that strategically they capitalized well on it. Kotick’s vision seems to be mostly rooted in business optimization what means reducing costs, that is great if you sell insurance but not so great if you intend to sell creative made products in a highly competitive environment.

Great company to short against when Diablo 4 and immortal is out and no new games are on the horizon, that is my opinion.

And now i will stop with the financial boring talk ;D

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf

“We urge the Board to take a long look in the mirror and make substantial changes to Mr. Kotick’s pay in response to shareholders’ clear mandate.”

Mr. Kotick’s response

comment image

Reader
Hostagecat

so funny Schlag and so true….

Reader
Sorenthaz

comment image

Reader
bobfish

Can we just clear this up, CtW Investment Group doesn’t represent any investors or are an investor themselves.

They are an activist/lobby group that takes the interest of the normal person or employee and attempts to educate investors/shareholders into the untenable conditions of the modern American worker in these large public corporations.

Whilst I fully support their goal, they aren’t investors or representatives of investors.

Reader
Hostagecat

Yes that is a great point, and definately needs to be made.

Stefan
Reader
Stefan

Thanks for explaining this also, everyone should be more educated on the financial world so that investing becomes common place and normal, especially with today’s inflation and interest rate.

Reader
Bruno Brito

At least now they aren’t claiming a “spiritual victory”.