Activision Blizzard, EA Included in List of "Most Overpaid CEOs"

A new report ranking CEOs in order of who's perceived to be the most overpaid included the leaders of both Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts among the names.

As You Sow is responsible for the list of "The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs 2019," a group with the goal of promoting social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy and other means. Activision Blizzard and EA are two of the biggest and well-known video game publishers, and both had their CEOs included in As You Sow's list.

Activision Blizzard appeared at No. 45 on the list, the CEO of that company being Robert A. Kotick, a name people might better recognize as Bobby Kotick from the headlines the CEO and Activision Blizzard have been referenced in lately. According to As You Sow, Kotick is paid just shy of $28.7 million which the group estimates is around $12.8 million than deserved based on a methodology which evaluates how much of that pay is "excess."

Barely ranking among the top 100 CEOs As You Sow deemed to be overpaid was EA's Andrew Wilson who's listed as earning around $35.7 million. As You Sow deemed Wilson was being overpaid by approximately $19.6 million.

Another stat attributed to all the CEOs was a ration which compared the CEOs' pay to that of an average worker. Activision Blizzard's ratio was a 300:1 while EA's was listed as 106:1. For reference, the typical ratio found in As You Sow's list was 300:1, so the ratios for both of the companies aren't as egregious as say Fleetcor Technologies Inc, the No. 1 company on the list with a ratio of 1,517:1.

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Activision Blizzard in particular has appeared in numerous headlines in recent weeks following speculation of mass layoffs which were eventually confirmed when Activision Blizzard cut more than 800 jobs from its workforce. Kotick was cited as saying Activision Blizzard had "once again achieved record results in 2018," though the record-breaking earnings didn't prevent the loss of jobs across various divisions of the massive company. A petition was started shortly after the layoffs occurred which called for Kotick to be fired.

EA hasn't been the subject of headlines related to working conditions and layoffs recently, though its stocks did take a hit recently when the value of the shares plummeted 18 percent following an earnings call which detailed a disappointing Q3. The company's stocks rebounded after the release of Apex Legends though with that battle royale game, Anthem, and continued updates for Battlefield V being among EA's best bets for the first quarter of 2019.