Activision Blizzard shareholders are holding a key vote tomorrow on whether they believe the company should be sold to Microsoft. The vote will be about the merger, but also about the future of Activision Blizzard in terms of workplace culture, lawsuits, allegations of harassment, and whether or not the company can turn around under current CEO Bobby Kotick.
Rumors started flying as soon as the Microsoft deal was announced about Kotick’s potential exit from the new company once it was approved. Tomorrow’s voting session will also allow shareholders to approve the possibility of a large compensation package for Kotick and other top executives six months after the merger is approved should they leave the company.
According to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, the merger vote is binding, but the vote on potential exit compensation is non-binding. However, there is potentially a lot of money to be made on exit if the possibility of these deals is approved. Kotick is reviewing a possible $22 million payment by the summer, when Activision Blizzard determines the company has pivoted sufficiently based on October’s outlined goals.
It doesn’t just pay to be Bobby Kotick. It pays to be a top manager. Activision Blizzard’s CFO (Zerza), CAO (Bulatao), and top counsel (Dixton) can each resign between 6 and 8 months after the merger and receive all of the “gold parachute money” listed here… pic.twitter.com/1hba1e6RyI
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) February 23, 2022
These compensation packages are commonly known as “golden parachutes” and are usually reserved for executives at the highest levels of a company to pull out and start fresh for one reason or another. These packages are often arranged after the sale or acquisition of a large company, but can also happen after a scandal or other failure at the top that warrants a page turn. Yet their hefty sums, especially when used to bail out someone who has been ineffective for a reason at best and toxic at worst, prompts debate about how to effectively reward those acts.
These votes will take place tomorrow and must be publicly announced by May 4th. Even if shareholders approve the sale to Microsoft, the deal still has a few additional stages to gain regulatory approval.
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/activision-blizzard-shareholders-to-vote-on-microsoft-sale-and-possible-big-payouts-for-bobby-kotick-and-others-2000124897 Activision Blizzard Shareholders Vote on Microsoft Sale and Potential Big Payouts for Bobby Kotick and Others