Acitvision chief financial officer Thomas Tippl was recently promoted to the position of chief operating officer at the publisher, and will serve double duty as temporary acting CFO while a replacement is found. A filing
with the Securities and Exchange Commission from last week detailed the executive swap (titled the "Tippl Amendment," effective as of March 23), including an $885k annual salary, stock options, an annual raise "at least equal to the average [undisclosed] percentage increase" (pending approval by the board), and a yearly performance-based bonus of "120 percent of his base salary [$1,062,000]."
The wonderfully candid thing about SEC filings is that there's little room for spin or marketing, but the downside is all the financial jargon -- like the fact that part of Tippl's new contract entitles him to a grant of 225,000 "performance shares" that "vest ratably." This means we're put in a position where we're telling you about stuff that is at the least pretty confusing and likely kind of meaningless. So let's break it down!
"Performance shares" are, according to Investopedia
, "shares of company stock given to managers only if certain company wide performance criteria are met, such as earnings per share targets." Meaning, in so many words, that Activision has to meet a certain performance level in order for Tippl to earn said shares. That they will "vest ratably" is only to say that on Feb. 15 of each year for the next four years, he will earn part of that eventual 225,000-share goal (in 2014) ... should he stay in his position for all that time, of course. And finally, this is all based on the prediction that he delivers a higher or equal to non-GAAP earning per share when compared to the previous year. In short, he has to either break even or make money to get the stocks, and he has to maintain that for the next four years. Quite a tall order, sir!