EA CEO And Other Execs Gave Up Their Cash Bonuses

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson and a series of other high-ranking executives at the publisher declined their cash bonuses for the latest financial year which ended March 31. This was confirmed in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing dated June 21 and reported on by GameDaily.

“Our CEO and his staff requested that they receive no performance cash bonus award for fiscal 2019,” reads a line from the filing.

The filing mentioned that Wilson and other executives declined their cash bonuses due to EA’s poor financial results in Fiscal Year 2019, and “in order to maintain alignment with our pay-for-performance executive compensation philosophy.”

“While we are disappointed with our fiscal 2019 results, we understand the challenges we face, and we will continue to focus on how we can apply the strengths of our Company to capitalize on our opportunities,” the statement explains.

EA made $4.95 billion for fiscal 2019, which was down from $5.15 billion during the previous fiscal year. The downturn in revenue might sound surprising given EA landed a huge hit with Apex Legends during the year. However, the title was only released in February 2019, which was just ahead of the end of the fiscal year in March. EA also had a few high-profile misses during the year, including Battlefield V and Anthem, both of which underperformed.

The other EA executives who declined their cash bonuses for the year included CFO Blake Jorgensen, CTO Kenneth Moss, chief marketing officer Chris Bruzzo, and chief studios officer Laura Miele. Patrick Soderlund, who quit EA in August 2018, also reportedly gave up his bonus. EA reportedly offered Soderlund $20 million in equity bonuses to stay at the company, but even so, he left to establish Embark Studios in Sweden. At the time, it was believed that Soderlund took the $20 million with him, but GameDaily reports that he did not; the funds are instead reportedly going into a pool to help secure new hires, among other purposes.

According to GameDaily, the EA executives declined their cash bonuses and instead put the money into a bonus pool to be paid to employees. Combined, the bonuses amount to around $4.8 million to be paid to employees, and that doesn’t count the $20 million equity bonus from Soderlund, according to GameDaily.

The SEC filing also reveals that all of EA’s Named Executive Officers (NEOs) received an increase to their base salary in Fiscal 2019. Wilson now makes $1.192 million annually, while Jorgensen gets $850,000. Moss and Bruzzo make $675,000 every year. Miele, who only just started as chief studios officer, makes $675,000 annually as well. Soderlund, who left EA during fiscal 2019, made $475,572 as a base salary. All numbers are in USD.

As you can see in the chart below, base salary is just the beginning when it comes to total compensation. Wilson’s total pay package, including stock awards and other compensation, was $18.3 million for the latest fiscal year. That is just about half of what he earned the year prior. The “non-equity incentive plan compensation” is empty for all of the NEOs, and that’s because they declined their cash bonuses.

In other EA news, Wilson says he believes BioWare’s Anthem can find success in the future following its slow start earlier this year.

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