EA’s CEO has made 636 times more than recently laid-off workers

EA CEO Andrew Wilson stands on the stage at a video game showcase and ponders his next million.

photo: Christian Peterson (Getty Images)

The CEO of Driving me crazy Manufacturer Electronic Arts is expected to rake in $19.8 million in total compensation for his company’s strong performance in 2021. That’s about half of what it was for 2020 after EA’s board cracked down on exorbitant bonuses in the face of shareholder backlash, but still several hundred times more than what some of EA’s lows areHighest-paid employees are doing well in this time of record inflation.

“For fiscal year 2022, our average employee’s total annual compensation was $115,569 and total annual compensation [CEO Andrew] Wilson was $19,858,539,” notes EA latest SEC filingreported first through axios. Most of that came from stocks, with Wilson’s base salary being $1,267,000. That’s a far cry from the roughly $39 million he made in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. After a non-binding shareholder vote prevail in executive salaries This year, EA’s board approved a much smaller pay package for 2021, calling last year’s windfall an “exception.”

But everything is relative, and in this case, less money is still a lot, especially compared to what everyone else who works at EA makes. Wilson’s earnings in 2021 still make him one of the Top 10 highest paid CEOs in gamingand last year brought him well above the average salary of S&P 500 CEOs ($14.5 million). It also means that Wilson still makes 172 times the average EA employee’s total compensation ($115,569) and a whopping 636 times more than some customer service reps released earlier this month were paid.

A slide from EA's 2022 earnings presentation shows how the bulk of its revenue comes from live service gaming.

screenshot: EA / Kotaku

One of EA’s recently fired customer service reps, who asked to remain anonymous because he didn’t want to be seen criticizing a former employer while looking for new work, recounted kotaku They were making just $15 an hour after their last annual increase of just $0.10. She and other EA Austin employees had complained about being forced to commute to the office while struggling with poor pay. A MIT study estimated a “living wage” for the Austin, Texas area at $17.46 for someone living alone, but EA turned down requests for a raise and said it was already paying market rates.

“EA does not reimburse living expenses, we base our pay ranges on market data on what similar roles are paid for in a region and make adjustments where necessary,” a staff representative told Austin employees last November in the company’s Slack Screenshots shared with kotaku. The company used a similar line when someone asked why EA’s rates still seem to be behind the median range for other tech support roles in the city, based on data provided by Recruitment sites like Glassdoor. EA has not responded to a request for comment.

While quality assurance developers are a class of video game staff that has historically been undervalued and underpaid, customer service and technical support are increasingly another as companies focus on live service games. Microtransactions in online multiplayer games such as Apex Legends, FIFAand Driving me crazy billed 85% of EA’s net bookings last quarter, and “Advisors,” as they’re known internally, are on the front line to help players resolve bugs, questions, and other issues related to these massive in-game economies. More of these jobs are now being outsourced to foreign providers in cheaper labor markets like Romania and India.

“Outsourcing most of EA’s support teams to get a higher profit is not okay,” the former employee said kotaku. “At the end of the day, the lower level staff were the backbone for connecting with the players and realizing their passion and vision for the games. During the pandemic, EA made a huge profit and yet refused to increase pay based on the cost of living.”

The numbers have gotten so big these days –Diablo immortal Grossed $24 million in the first two weeks and Microsoft is raise $69 billion Buying Activision Blizzard – it’s easy to lose sight of how big the gaps have become. 1965 was the ratio of CEO to median employee salary just 20. The state minimum wage at the time was $1.25. If it had kept up some measures of inflation, the minimum wage today would be $24. Even the QA people on money presses like it call of Duty and Candy Crushwho recently won raises from Activision Blizzard, still not earning that much. Andrew Wilson, on the other hand, increased his base salary by $40,000 this year alone.

https://kotaku.com/ea-ceo-pay-apex-legends-fifa-battlefield-layoffs-compen-1849078379 EA’s CEO has made 636 times more than recently laid-off workers

Curtis Crabtree

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