Electronic Arts shareholders are standing up to the execs blatant money-grabbing. Shareholders rejected the recent push from upper management to get more money.
CtW Investment Group pushed to fight off the Say-on-Pay package for EA execs. The group became infamous for an embittered June battle against Activision and Bobby Kotick. Now, the pension-funded shareholder team is prevailing against Electronic Arts.
CtW springboards from first battle against Activision
The CtW Investment Group, back in June, argued against excessive pays. They directed their fight towards Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. The group, however, failed to convince shareholders to fight against his “Say-on-Pay” package.
Even then, CtW made first ground by pulling as many as 43% of shareholders to their side. This level of opposition was the highest ever in the history of Activision. It was not enough to do the job, but it was enough to create precedence.
Enter EA, with CtW, also among its shareholders. In July, the investment group filed a similar complaint against EA execs. Specifically, the claims lobby against CFO Blake Jorgensen and CTO Kenneth Moss.
While EA has a stellar quarterly earnings report, CtW notes this comes in excess. The pay for EA’s top officials are going sky-high, and they’re trying to block it. Now, it seems that the group succeeded.
The proposed package for the execs received an overwhelming 74% rejection among voters. The voting shares rejecting Say-on-Pay is rare, which makes it quite the accomplishment. Semler Brossy, an exec compensation firm, notes that the failure rate was only 2.7% in 2019.
EA execs getting more than 100% increase in pay package
The backlash against the Say-on-Pay packages for Electronic Arts execs tell a story. The entire counterattack likely came from the absurd leaps in pay for top management.
An SEC filing from June notes that Jorgensen will get US$19.5 million [AU$ 27.22 million]. The compensation will come in different forms, including salary, stocks, and more. His pay last year was less than half, at US$9.4 million [AU$ 13.12 million].
Moss will get nearly the same jump, set at US$14.3 million [AU$ 19.96 million]. This pay package is more than 100% increase from US$7 million [AU$ 9.77 million] last year.
Other execs will also benefit from the Say to Pay, including CEO Andrew Wilson. These people include Chief Studio Officer Laura Miele and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Bruzzo.
“Shareholders issued a resounding rebuke of Electronic Arts’ deeply flawed executive pay practices that does not incentivize executives to create long-term value,” said CtW executive director Dieter Waizenegger in a statement. “This vote is a clarion call for the board to stop piling awards on top of awards for top executives and make sure that the company develops a pay philosophy that is focused on talent development and retention throughout all levels of the company.”
The advisory vote won by CtW against Electronic Arts execs is not binding. EA’s board of directors will still have the final say on the approval or rejection of the plan.
Images courtesy of Electronic Arts/Youtube Screenshot