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EA pays CEO $20 million as FIFA 17 maker navigates shift to web

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Andrew Wilson. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Electronic Arts Inc. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson’s compensation jumped by 19 percent as the video-game maker adapted to the growing digital segment of the market.

Wilson, 42, 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, according to a regulatory filing Friday. His share awards included restricted stock units that vest by May 2019 and performance awards tied to three-year total shareholder returns.

The company cited successes in game launches including FIFA 17 and Battlefield 1 and increases to digital revenue through live services. Like rivals Activision Blizzard Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., EA has outperformed 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 Redwood City, California-based EA rose 35 percent in the 12 months through March 31, compared with a 17 percent increase in the S&P 500 Index including dividends and a 21 percent gain in the S&P 500 Media Sector Index. Activision, EA’s biggest competitor, had a return of 48 percent 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 percent 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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