Activision CEO was paid $40 million, employees say they skipped meals – Business Insider

  • The massive video game publisher behind blockbuster franchises like “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” is facing major internal pushback after employees circulated a salary document that exposed major pay disparities.
  • Some employees at Blizzard Entertainment, which is owned by Activision, said they used free coffee as an appetite suppressant and skipped meals so they could pay rent, according to a new Bloomberg report.
  • Activision CEO Bobby Kotick took home around $40 million last year.
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With some of the most popular, best-selling video game franchises in the world, Activision and its subsidiary, Blizzard Entertainment, are money-making powerhouses. 

But some employees at Blizzard — the studio responsible for hits like “World of Warcraft,” “Overwatch,” and the upcoming “Diablo 4” — said they were paid so poorly that they used free office coffee as an appetite suppressant, skipped meals in the employee cafeteria, and, in one case, chose not to have kids due to an inability to afford them.

Blizzard employees recently circulated a salary document that highlighted vast disparities in the company, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday morning

The biggest standout in that spreadsheet came from Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who took home around $40 million in 2019. 

Though some positions within the company offer six figure salaries, a vast array of quality assurance testers and customer service representatives are paid far less, according to the report. 

Activision didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. But Activision spokesperson Jessica Taylor told Bloomberg, “We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees.”

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