FIFA 17 maker EA hands out $20 million to CEO

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Andrew Wilson

In the latest example of how CEOs of top technology companies continue to rake in millions every year, Electronic Arts Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson saw his compensation jump by 19 per cent taking his annual income to $20 million.

According to a regulatory filing, Wilson received a $1.08 million salary, $16.2 million in equity and an annual cash bonus of $2.69 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31. His share awards included restricted stock units that vest by May 2019 and performance awards tied to three-year total shareholder returns.

EA has cited successes in game launches including FIFA 17 and Battlefield 1 and increases to digital revenue through live services. EA managed to outperform the broader market by adjusting to consumers’ shifting preferences, offering online downloads of games and add-ons as demand falls for physical discs.

Shares of the gaming giant rose 35 per cent in the 12 months through March 31, compared with a 17 per cent increase in the S&P 500 Index including dividends and a 21 per cent gain in the S&P 500 Media Sector Index. Activision, EA’s biggest competitor, had a return of 48 per cent for the same period.

Wilson’s pay has steadily risen over the past two years thanks to salary raises and boosts in his target equity awards. In 2015, his total reported pay was $11.6 million. The value of Wilson’s shares granted in fiscal 2017 rose 19 per cent compared with the prior year. Wilson has led the company since 2013.

Pay for the other executives at Electronic Arts ranged between $5.73 million and $11.6 million, according to the filing.

Executive Vice President Patrick Soderlund, the second-highest paid executive in 2017, received a $20 million one-time award, which will be reported as compensation for 2018, for bringing “award-winning games and services” to the market, the company disclosed in a filing on June 7.

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