EA Paid Executives $60 Million While Laying Off 670 Employees in the Same Fiscal Year

A hot potato: Electronic Arts, a company that laid off 670 people earlier this year due to the $7.56 billion net revenue it earned during the 2024 fiscal period not being sufficient, compensated its top executives with $60 million in the same timeframe. CEO Andrew Wilson received the largest portion: $25.6 million.

EA’s annual Proxy Statement, highlighted by Game Developer, reveals that Wilson’s basic salary in FY24 was $1.3 million. Additionally, he received over $20 million in stock awards, nearly $3.5 million from a non-equity incentive plan, and $500,000 in “other” compensation, which includes personal security benefits. His total compensation significantly increased in FY24 compared to $20.6 million in 2023 and $19.8 million in 2022.

Wilson was commended for managing a “year of continued employee satisfaction scores above industry benchmarks,” which involved “record high talent retention.”

To the 670 people, approximately 5% of its total workforce, laid off by EA a few months ago, these comments will likely seem bitter. Wilson stated that the layoffs were part of an ongoing effort to “optimize our global real estate footprint to best support our business.”

In March 2023, the company also laid off 775 people, representing 6% of its workforce, and enforced further layoffs at Codemasters, a studio owned by EA, in December.

Other EA executives who received substantial compensation include Laura Miele, president of EA Entertainment, Technology and Central Development, who earned over $12 million. Her compensation package included a base salary of $820,385, stock awards worth $10.05 million, and $1.2 million from a non-equity incentive plan.

Additionally, CFO Stuart Canfield received $6.4 million, and Chief People Officer Mala Singh earned $6.9 million.

It’s worth noting that the median employee compensation was $148,704, meaning Wilson earned 172 times more than the average worker at EA.

The phenomenon of top executives earning salaries hundreds of times more than regular workers is nothing new, but it’s especially disheartening when it follows a company’s decision to lay off workers for streamlining purposes. Wilson’s $5 million pay increase in a year adds insult to injury for those who were terminated.

An estimated 10,800 individuals within the games industry have been laid off in 2024 so far, surpassing the 10,500 who lost their jobs in all of 2023.

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