When it comes to personal relationships there are a few topics considered “taboo” to discuss. Asking how old someone is or what they weigh, for example, is information that should be given not asked for. That list also includes a person’s salary, unless, of course, you’re the CEO of a major video game publisher like Electronic Arts. In that case, your financials can be readily accessed, and may even surprise some people.
Without burying the lede too much, a new report has surfaced that reveals EA CEO Andrew Wilson made $13.9 million during the 2014 financial year (which actually ended in 2015). It’s no surprise that the CEO of a major publisher would have a solid salary, but it’s actually the success of Electronic Arts that fueled Wilson’s massive 2014 earnings.
As the Financial Review reports, Wilson biggest monetary boosts came from his stock and stock options, which are now worth $3.8 million and $8.6 million, respectively. Granted, Wilson isn’t likely to withdraw those amounts any time soon – not as long as he is Electronic Arts’ CEO, at least – but that’s still a massive nest egg.
Since joining EA in late 2013, Wilson has helped Electronic Arts reassert its dominance in video games, nearly tripling the company’s profits in 2-and-a-half years. He’s also been in charge while EA’s stock price ballooned from around $30/share to $80/share.
Wilson’s success is obviously linked with Electronic Arts’, so it’s no surprise that the publisher had a banner 2014. Microtransaction-based experiences like Simpson’s Tap Out and FIFA 15 led the way for the publisher, but the buck didn’t stop there. 2014 was also an important year for Electronic Arts’ growth, as the company continued to build buzz thanks to its acquisition of the Star Wars license. And considering that Star Wars Battlefront was a huge hit for EA, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more growth out of EA for 2015’s fiscal year.
That being said, it’s wholly possible that Wilson’s stock could also dip if EA sees any significant struggles in 2016 and beyond. That seems rather unlikely, though, what with another Star Wars game in the works from Visceral Games and the launch of a new Mass Effect both on the horizon. More likely, it seems as if EA is only going to continue to dominate sales, and in turn Wilson’s stocks and stock options will flourish.
Are you surprised to see the CEO of Electronic Arts earned so much in FY 2014? Which CEO do you think is the highest paid?