Bobby Kotick is the CEO of video game company Activision Blizzard. He credits Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, for encouraging him to drop out of school to pursue his talents in computer software. Through several business ventures, Bobby studied business management, and in 2008 Bobby became the CEO of Activism Blizzard. At the end of 2021, different sources said he was worth $600 million. In this article, we will examine how he achieved this status by looking at his early life, career progression, and business endeavors.
How was the youth of Bobby Kotick?
Bobby Kotick was born in 1963 in the United States. He spent his youth in New York, where he demonstrated an interest in business from an early age. In high school, he had business cards, ran a rental business bringing Manhattan clubs on off-peak nights. Bobby attended the University of Michigan, where he studied arts (history) in the early 1980s. While still in college, together with his friend Howard Marks, they formed a company called Arktronics. They ran the company from their dorm, where they developed software for the Apple II. They later met a real estate developer named Steve Wynn, who invested $300,000 in the business. The company would play an important role in shaping his future career in business.
How did Bobby Kotick get to where he is in his career?
Together with his friend, they decided to drop out of school and focus on their software business. The decision was made after meeting with Steve Jobs. He persuaded them to drop out of school and focus on software development. He would later buy a 25% stake in Activision in December 1990. At that time, Activision was on the verge of bankruptcy. Activision was originally called Mediagenic. Precipitously, he became CEO of Activision in February 1991. Between 1997 and 2003, the company had already developed nine studios. Activision released its first successful game in 1995. Driven by the desire to grow, it began negotiations in 2006 for the merger of Vivendi’s games section. The deal also included Sierra Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment. The project was successful, and he was able to oversee the creation of Activision Blizzard in 2008. In October 2016, Kotick announced that the company had created a professional esports league for video games called Overwatch. Prior to announcing the deal, his company had acquired King and Major League Gaming.
How much does Bobby Kotick make as CEO?
VG247 reported that Kotick’s was coming to an end in December 2021 but had been extended through March 2023. After serving the company for more than thirty years, Kotick agreed to cut his salary nearly in half. As of the start of 2021, his salary has increased from $1.75 million to $875,000. However, his contract still allowed him to receive bonuses of around 200% based on his new salary. The decision to award him the bonus was devolved to Blizzard’s compensation committee, which only decided based on the company’s financial goals. He had the freedom to negotiate with the committee to determine whether he would be paid in cash or stock. Bonus offers would always net him $1.75 million in a fiscal year.
What are the other sources of wealth for Bobby Kotick other than being CEO?
In addition to being the CEO of Activision, Kotick profited greatly from selling the company to Microsoft for a deal worth $68.7 million. The deal came after employees demanded he resign after Activision Blizzard was wrecked by a series of scandals that negatively impacted the company’s public image. The Fortune reported that Kotick would make over $500 million from the deal. He said he earned $14.4 million from the early termination of deposits he made. He continued to hold $4.3 million worth of stock with an option to acquire over $2.2 million.
How does Bobby Kotick spend his money?
To understand his net worth, we should look at how Kotick spends his money. According to CNBC, Bobby Kotick had a limited company called Norgate LLC, which he used to contribute at least $500,000 to Republican campaigns. He also used $11 million to buy his California home in 2010. The Beverly Hills home is located in the neighborhood of other millionaires. In 2020, Bobby announced that he would donate $1 million to programs that address systemic inequality. Together with his company, they aimed to raise $4 million for the course. He also used a good part of his money to buy 700,000 shares of Coca-Cola, of which he is a director.
Controversy surrounding the life and wealth of Bobby Kotick
Although considered one of the most innovative CEOs in the modern tech industry, Bobby’s career has been marred by controversy. In 2020, Blizzard employees staged severe walkouts due to allegations that there were pay gaps within the company. Employees cite his salary as the main reason for their complaints. When confronted by the media about the employees’ claims, Bobby further lied by saying that the employees were well screened and received promotions based on their performance.
Several media checked the company’s facts and found that it was totally false. In one of the most bizarre ways to control employee anger, he provided his phone number and email address to employees so that those who felt dissatisfied hired him directly. Bobby has also been accused of engaging in unethical business practices. In 2009, he threatened to stop making PS3 games unless Sonny reduced the price of the console. It would encourage and promote small video game productions targeting its competitors.
Bobby Kotick is a classic example of how talent can be used to advance your interests in a business. It also teaches us that educational systems may not be the only way to archive our goals. If we notice our children’s talents at an early stage, we can make the most of them. Plus, there’s a life lesson: if we put money ahead of our employees’ well-being, we’ll likely fail, as he did.