Incentives for Poor Behavior

While Blizzard is being investigated, Activision itself was also under the microscope. The EEOC was investigating what Kotick disclosed/was aware of in terms of the Blizzard behavior, and then how that impacted the stock.

Today, Activision paid $18m dollars to settle the investigation. In comparison, Bobby Kotick made at least $154m as CEO, and the company reported a net quarterly income of $876m. So ~12% of the CEO pay, or 1% of the quarterly company revenue.

Let’s say that the average person makes $30,000 after taxes (let’s pretend). At the worst end, 12%, that would be a $3,600 fine. The the best case, 1%, that is $300. Now, if I said to you that you could do whatever you wanted to make money, including lying, cheating, abusing your neighbours to MAKE that $30,000 in the first place, that’s a pretty good deal!

It’s things like this that perpetuate a divide between the classes. It gives the impression that some people are simply above reproach. I could argue the other side, that if the penalties were too high, the company would be forced to lay off people… but Acti-Blizz will lay off people even if they are claiming record profits anyhow.

A reminder that the Blizzard employees sent a signed letter in July, with 3,000 signatures, and the company hasn’t even acknowledged it’s existence. Not sure why they would even bother as long as the dollars keep coming in and the penalties are slaps on the wrist.

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