Robert Kotick, who is currently the CEO of Activision Blizzard, and who was also the director/CEO of Activision from February 1991 to July 2008, has been named one of the top paid CEOs in the United States. Kotick 's compensation increased to $64.9 million in 2012. In a recent regulatory filing discovered by Reuters, a majority of Kotick's huge compensation comes from stock rewards totaling $55,915,738.
The stock rewards, however, will be stretched over a vesting period of 5 years, but due to regulatory reporting rules, Activision has to report the compensation the year that it was granted. So in reality, Kotick was really paid $8.33 million last year, as well as in 2011. Kotick's base salary was $2,006,127 last year, and he received a bonus of $2.5 million. The other half of his earnings came from other forms of compensation. According to Reuters, Kotick's compensation is now 3 times as much as Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldsman Sachs, and twice as much as Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney.
While Kotick's compensation was phenomenal, Activision didn't experience the same type of success. Activision's revenue and net income only increased in the single digits last year, making its growth much slower than the year prior. Activision had to lay off a total of 70 of its full-time employees in order to cut costs. 40 employees were laid off after they completed development on Activision's upcoming Dead Pool game, and 30 employees were laid off after the company announced that it would be pulling away from licensed games.
Kotick has been placed as the second most paid public-company CEO of 2012, right behind Oracle's CEO and founder Larry Ellison. Ellison takes the lead with $96.2 million in compensation. However, according to Bloomberg, Kotick could receive another $16 million this year if he is able to meet the highest performance targets this year for Activision Blizzard. While that'll still put him behind Ellison, it's still a hefty bonus.
UPDATE: Updated post to reflect Kotick's actual compensation for 2012.