Activision Blizzard’s CFO Just Made $15 Million in “Awards” for Merely Stepping Into the Role
So that's where all of those microtransaction dollars go.
It’s been a rather odd start to 2019 for Activision Blizzard. To kick off the new year, the company’s previous CFO Spencer Neumann departed from the publisher which was then followed up by last week’s announcement that developer Bungie would be parting ways as well. Not to mention, the Activision Blizzard’s stock is currently sitting at its lowest point since midway through 2017.
Despite all of this though, Activision Blizzard still has enough money lying around to afford to reward its new CFO handsomely for doing, well, kind of nothing. After the departure of Spencer Neumann at the start of the year, Dennis Durkin stepped in to become the new Chief Financial Officer of Activision Blizzard. For taking the position, Durkin was then awarded $15 million worth of rewards to go along with his already $900,000 salary and $1.35 million target bonus.
According to Bloomberg, this $15 million in rewards is made up of a $3.75 million signing bonus to go along with “$11.3 million of restricted stock tied to operating income and earnings-per-share targets.” Basically, Durkin signed his name on the dotted line and became a very, very rich fellow. It’s also worth noting that this is his second stint in the CFO role, so he’s been down this road before.
Look, I’m not usually one to bash on executives like this for getting their bread, but seeing how much money is frivolously given out like this from a publisher like Activision can be frustrating, especially when that same publisher then wants to complain that a game like Destiny 2: Forsaken didn’t bring in enough money and needs to be monetized even further. Activision isn’t the only company in the gaming industry who does this, either.
Should executives likely make large salaries for their work? Sure, and I’m not against that in principle whatsoever. What is annoying though is seeing how much more games have been monetized over the years, only for those implementations to not even seemingly benefit the actual developers of the games. A studio like Visceral Games couldn’t even survive under EA’s umbrella and was closed in 2017. Meanwhile, in 2018, EA’s chief executives all got rather substantial raises.
So what’s to be done to fix this? Probably nothing. At least nothing other than continuing to vote with your wallet.
Buy your wife something pretty with that bonus, Dennis Durkin (assuming you’re married).