A group of investors is calling for Activision Blizzard shareholders to vote against a “Management Say On Pay” proposal that could give CEO Bobby Kotick a bonus, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The CtW Investment Group, which works with union-sponsored pension funds, made the filing using information from proxy voting advisor Institutional Shareholder Services to make a recommendation.
Among other things, the filing makes multiple claims that Kotick is paid disproportionately to other employees and fellow CEOs from other companies.
In the past four years, Kotick has received more than $20 million in stock and option equity per year. Those figures alone are more than the total pay of CEOs of similar companies, according to the filing.
“Executives are already well compensated in the event of a merger or other strategic transaction without additional incentives because they typically hold large amounts of vested equity,” CtW executive director Dieter Waizenegger said. “Moreover, it is one of the CEO’s core responsibilities to pursue transactions that would be favorable and in the best interest of the company. There is no justification for providing an executive with additional incentives to pursue a merger or similar strategic transaction when that executive has already accumulated substantial holdings through equity grants.”
Activision Blizzard is holding its annual meeting on June 11. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s meeting will be held virtually for stockholders who invested on or before April 15.
There are four proposals being voted on this year, according to Activision’s annual proxy statement. The first is the election of directors, while the second is in regard to executive compensation.
In the document, Activision’s board recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the executive compensation proposal. But the unanimous recommendation comes from a board of directors that will be directly benefiting from the proposal.