Blizzard employees share salary details amid unrest over pay disparity
A significant number of employees were unhappy with wages in 2019, according to a report from Bloomberg
Employees at Blizzard Entertainment are reportedly sharing their salaries and pay increases, in an attempt to contextualise growing dissatisfaction with the disparity in wages at the company.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Blizzard's employees have created a document to which anyone can add their salary level and any recent change in pay.
The document exists due to what employees saw as the lacklustre response to a an internal survey conducted by Blizzard in 2019, which allegedly revealed that a significant group of the company's staff were unhappy with their salary.
Blizzard's subsequent plan to ensure fairer pay was put in place last month, but it "led to an outcry on the company's internal Slack messaging boards."
"Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively," said Activision Blizzard's Jessica Taylor in a statement.
"We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees."
Bloomberg's report includes details from numerous sources, including the pay document itself, Slack messages, and other internal communications. The report alleges that layoffs in February 2019 left remaining staff with additional responsibilities, but they were not compensated with additional pay.
Blizzard Entertainment is part of Activision Blizzard, which has been the subject of criticism for its enrichment of CEO Bobby Kotick, among other executives. In response, the company pointed out that, in Kotick's 30 years as CEO, its share value has increased from $10 million to more than $50 billion.
However, when we spoke to CtW, the organisation leading the call for change, it suggested that Kotick's compensation structure is designed so he can receive five annual bonuses for meeting specific criteria only once in that five year period.
"That's a little bit like losing a race four years in a row at the Olympics and then winning the fifth," said CtW's Michael Varner. "Instead of being awarded a gold medal for that fifth year, you get five; one for that year and four for the races you lost.
"That doesn't make any sense. It doesn't matter if it's sustainable or not. That's just unfair."
Correction: This article has been amended to remove inaccurate statements about the proportion of Blizzard employees unhappy with their pay, and the salary levels of video game testers and customer service representatives.