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Activision CEO Kotick Set For Half-Billion Microsoft Pay Day

Bobby Kotick, the controversial CEO of Activision Blizzard, could leave the company with as much as US$520 million in his pocket, after Microsoft completes its US$69 billion of the gaming giant.

In a filing made on Friday, Activision confirmed Kotick would receive a US$14.4 million severance package if he quits or is terminated within a year of the takeover. In addition, Kotick hold 4.3 million shares, and can top this up with a further 2.2 million, which will be worth over US$500 million at the $95-a-share deal price.

Kotick received US$826,549 in compensation in 2021, and was awarded US$155 million in 2020, mostly in equity that the company claims was earned over four years and “reflected more than three decades of creating value for shareholders.”

This payday is unlikely to thrill those who have been fighting the company on numerous sexual harassment charges and gender-pay disparity. Kotick has been accused by several women “of mistreatment both inside and outside the workplace” according to a Wall Street Journal expose published in November.

Activision called the article “a misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO” and that it “ignores important changes under way to make this the industry’s most welcoming and inclusive workplace.”

Activision and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came to an $18 million settlement last month.

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