Amid massive corporate restructuring and layoffs in the video games industry, a new report has found that the chief executive officers behind two of the biggest company’s laying off staff are being grossly overpaid, according to the report’s formula. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson were both named in the report which is published annually by nonprofit corporate watchdog, As You Sow.
The 2019 “100 Most Overpaid CEOs” report is based on pay data and seeks to highlight the massive pay disparities between CEOs and the common worker. The report places Kotick at number 45 on the list with annual compensations to the tune of approximately $28.7 million, putting his earnings at a ratio of 301:1 on the average Activision Blizzard worker. Wilson finds himself lower on the list, reaching number 98 with an annual income of approximately $35.7 million, making 371 times the median EA worker.
As You Sow calculates the list based on more data than just salary packages, with the overall numbers reflecting a variety of financial incentives for the CEOs such as bonuses and total shareholder returns. The report goes on to explore trends in CEO salaries, noting that the average CEO pay packaged has been steadily growing across most industries over the past 10 years. The average CEO salary has risen by up to $2 million between 2013 and 2017.
Kotick and Wilson join several other major entertainment industry CEOs on the list, including Disney’s Robert Iger ($36 million) and Netflix’s Reed Hastings ($24 million). The full report can be read here.
News of the CEOs generous paychecks will undoubtedly come as a bitter endnote to a disastrous few weeks for those who have been laid off by EA and Activision Blizzard. Earlier this month Kotick announced that despite record profits for the financial year, the company would be letting go off up to 800 workers across the U.S. Meanwhile, EA has just yesterday announced that it too will be seeking changes in its development teams as Australian studio FireMonkeys was hit with a massive round of layoffs.