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Posts with tag kotick

Bobby Kotick is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S.

Activision Blizzard head honcho Bobby Kotick was one of the highest-paid CEOs in America last year, Bloomberg reports. Earning $64.9 million -- $55.9 million in of it in stock which he'll vest over the next 5 years, so he isn't just pocketing all of it in cash -- puts Kotick behind Oracle's Larry Ellison, America's top-paid CEO, who earned $96.2 million in 2012. Looking to other game industry execs, Kotick's nearest comparison would be EA's former CEO John Riccitiello, who resigned in March, but made $9.5 million in 2012.

So why the pay raise, an eight-fold increase over Kotick's $8.33 million salary in 2011? It's part of Kotick's new employment contract, which included big bonuses tied to corporate performance. If Activision Blizzard continues to do well, Kotick will keep earning big dollars -- if he hits the highest performance targets, he could be making even more this year.

[Update: Clarified Kotick's stock vesting]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Bobby Kotick didn't think Blizzard was worth $7 million in '96

Have you ever looked at something new on the auction house and thought "Who would pay a thousand gold for that," only to find that months later the item has skyrocketed in price and you missed a golden opportunity to pick it up on the cheap? Activision kingpin Bobby Kotick might make the same analogy. If he played video games, I mean.

The Escapist clued us in to this little story: back in 1995, Kotick was eating lunch with some folks from Davidson & Associates, and they told him that they had just bought up-and-coming software developer Blizzard Entertainment for the tidy sum of seven million dollars -- a number that a baffled Kotick believed to be ridiculous. At the time, Blizzard's claim to fame was Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, and ... that's pretty much it, save for a few one-off games like Blackthorne and The Lost Vikings. Kotick called them nothing more than a "contract developer" and remarked that they weren't worth seven million bucks.

Of course, later that year, Blizzard released Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, which catapulted them into gaming history forever. Thirteen years later, in 2008, Kotick (and Activision) paid seven billion dollars to acquire Blizzard. For those not into mathematics, that's one thousand times more than what Davidson & Associates paid.

Well, he was right about one thing. They definitely weren't worth seven million bucks. He just didn't know how right he was at the time.

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Activision's Bobby Kotick speaks at All Things Digital

Bobby Kotick, CEO ActivisionBobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, took the stage at the All Things Digital conference, and spoke a little more about the Activision Blizzard deal.

Kotick fesses up that a lot of the merger was about Blizzard's people. While a pessimist might read this as "we can't compete with them, so join 'em," what I see is a deep level of respect for Blizzard and its creation. Kotick said, "the merger is really our mechanism to get access to Blizzard's talent, capability and infrastructure." This isn't really a surprise, and reinforces what Kotick's had to say about being considerate of Blizzard's culture.

As has been said before, Kotick doesn't seem like a bad guy. What he's doing is acknowledging the good work Blizzard's done in the past. He straight out says that, "I've never seen anything quite like World of Warcraft, not just as a gaming experience, but as a social experience, as a business."

That's not the kind of sentiment issued by someone who doesn't like what they just bought (Ed: But would someone who just spent $18.8 billion on anything not like it?). While Kotick doesn't say directly much about the future of Blizzard, things are still looking good for our favorite Blue team.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

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