Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick may be pocketing a $200 million bonus payout, despite layouts that may see between 50 and 190 people left without work. The payout is based on a stock-related incentive clause in his contract with Activision Blizzard.
We won't get into the legal mumbo-jumbo, but basically there is this insane clause in his contract that says that Kotick can collect approximately $200 million. What makes this even crazier is that this is due to Activision's stock prices soaring during the pandemic, and the huge jump in profitability for Activision Blizzard, due to gamers being stuck at home.
The layoffs will affect a little less than 2% of Activision Blizzard's employees, in other words approximately 190 employees. As we reported in yesterday's article, approximately 50 of these employees are from the Esports division of the company, responsible for OWL and CDL.
Activision is apparently looking to create a future for the company that is "less dependent on live events", implying some sort of reasoning for the Esports layoffs. However, it seems as of writing that very little has been explained as to why the layoffs were so exhaustive, especially considering the record revenue that Activision made in 2020.
According to Activision, employees are being given full severance packages, including a $200 Battle.net Gift Card. Speaking to Bloomberg, an Activision spokesman said the following:
Players are increasingly choosing to connect with our games digitally, and the e-sports team, much like traditional sports, entertainment, and broadcasting industries, has had to adapt its business due to the impact the pandemic has had on live events.
We are skeptical...
EarlyGame has sought comment from Activision regarding these layoffs twice now, with no response as of writing. We will update this article, and any preceding or subsequent articles, as the story develops, and if we receive a response.