CtW Investment Group has urged Electronic Arts shareholders to vote against excessive compensation proposals in an upcoming Annual Meeting scheduled for August.
In a letter penned by Executive Director, Dieter Waizenegger, CtW accused the publisher of developing an “addiction” to special award grants. He pointed out that the company is preparing to hand out retention awards to its executives for fiscal 2020 even though they were already granted these awards in fiscal 2018, the performance period for which has yet to conclude. The letter specifically names Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen and Chief Technology Officer Kenneth Moss.
“EA has an excessive equity granting problem,” CtW argued. “It has granted some of its executives a new special award before the performance period for a previous special award has even finished, on top of already high annual equity pay. The claims of retention are dubious given that there is already one special retention award outstanding and executives at the company generally, including the two that received the two special awards, are already well compensated through ordinary-course equity awards.”
This letter comes weeks after CtW took issue with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s pay. The group urged Activision shareholders to vote against Kotick’s compensation, reminding them that he continued to enrich himself after mass layoffs. According to Waizenegger, EA has also been paying out multimillion dollar bonuses to its executives amid layoffs.
“While we acknowledge the need to keep talented executives at a company, we do not believe in doing so at the expense of pay-for-performance,” CtW concluded.