Video Game CEO Gets $30 Million Pay While Laying Off Hundreds Of Workers

The labor movement is calling out Activision’s CEO for obscene compensation as the company lays off workers.

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

“The AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer, Liz Shuler, is calling on the SEC to ‘take action on corporate executives who abuse stock buybacks for their own personal gain.’

The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, has taken aim at Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and his annual compensation in 2018 following a massive round of layoffs earlier this year which saw nearly 800 employees lose their jobs.

AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler, in a statement published Tuesday, highlighted Kotick’s financial compensation in 2018 — which was $30.8 million, the majority of which came from stock options ($19 million) — saying, ‘This is like legal highway robbery.’

Activision Blizzard has called 2019 a ‘transition year’ (net revenue for the first quarter was down to $1.83 billion, compared to $1.97 billion from the same period in 2018) and, in January, announced a stock buyback program that would authorize the company to purchase $1.5 billion worth of stock ahead of cutting 750 jobs in February. In May 2018, the company made an aggregate cash dividend payment of $259 million to “shareholders of record” at the close of business on March 30, 2018, according to a recent SEC filing.

Shuler claims that such stock buybacks and payments help C-suite execs ‘artificially meet their incentive pay targets.’ She calls on the SEC to ‘take action on corporate executives who abuse stock buybacks for their own personal gain.'”

For the rest of the story, visit the Hollywood Reporter here.

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