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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick asks for salary cut in wake of ongoing legal battles

As Activision Blizzard faces pressure from multiple US regulatory agencies, CEO Bobby Kotick announces his request for a significant pay cut.

Earlier today, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent a letter to all employees updating them on the progress the company is making towards improving workplace conditions in the wake of overwhelming evidence of sexual harassment, misconduct, and gender discrimination. In this letter, Bobby stated that he has asked the board of directors to reduce his salary.

The statement regarding his pay cut is as follows: “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.”

Additionally, he iterated that this pay cut is a “reduction in my overall compensation, not just my salary”, and has asked not to receive any bonuses during the period of his pay cut. Back in April, Bobby Kotick had his salary cut by 50% following shareholder feedback to "incorporate market best practices".

This announcement of his request for a pay cut in the letter comes after Bobby Kotick made several pledges regarding how Activision Blizzard will change, and stated “We have a lot more to do if we are to be the company that others emulate.”

The changes mentioned include launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide, increasing the percentage of women and non-binary people in the workplace by 50% (with a commitment to invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent).

Bobby also said they will waive required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims, continue to increase visibility on pay equity, and provide regular progress updates.

These changes came with an additional addendum from Bobby, where he stated “I want to share five new changes we are implementing, but recognize being a model for workplace excellence will be a dynamic process requiring additional changes and an unrelenting commitment to improvement”.

It’s unclear for just how long this potential pay-cut will last, as per the previously mentioned statement "until the Board has determined that we have achieved the transformational gender-related goals and other commitments described above.” While this does imply that this pay cut would last until drastic changes have taken place at Activision Blizzard, this is only Bobby’s request. The Board can increase his pay whenever they like, in spite of Bobby’s wishes. Time will tell whether Bobby Kotick’s reduced salary will last as long as this statement implies.

This letter comes following a lengthy and messy legal battle between Activision Blizzard and multiple regulatory agencies.The latest update of which being a judges rejection of an attempt by lawyers representing Activision Blizzard to pause the sexual harassment lawsuit filled by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

About the Author

Connor Makar avatar

Connor Makar

Staff Writer

Connor is a Video Game Reporter with roots in multiplayer titles across a wide variety of genres. Connor can be found scrounging Reddit and Discord for the interesting stories, or diving deep into the latest fighting game.

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