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October 4, 2006

Gates and Ballmer bonuses cut

Posted by David Hunter at 7:32 PM ET.

Rebecca Barr at Bloomberg News:

Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software company, cut bonuses paid to Chairman Bill Gates and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as profit growth slowed in three of the past four quarters.

Gates and Ballmer, both 50, each earned $616,667 in salary in the fiscal year ended in June, up 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Both had their bonuses cut 13 percent to $350,000, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a regulatory filing today.

Earnings growth has stalled as Microsoft spends more to get the Xbox video-game console in stores and endured delays for the release of the Vista version of the Windows operating system. The company’s stock fell 6.2 percent during the fiscal year, compared with a 6.6 percent gain for the S&P 500 Index.

Gates and Ballmer aren’t on the way to the poor house, though:

Redmond-based Microsoft also disclosed in a proxy filing that Gates owned 9.73 percent of Microsoft stock, compared with 9.55 percent a year earlier. Ballmer owned 4.15 percent of Microsoft shares, compared with 3.85 percent the previous year.

All this came out in the annual proxy statement and Todd Bishop at the Seattle PI has more details. And speaking of the stock, Microsoft shares have participated in the general market run up and are at a 6-month high with a 17% gain over the last three months. As always, it depends on the measurement period – over the last 3 years the share price is down nearly 4%.

Filed under Bill Gates, Executives, Financial, General Business, Investor Relations, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer

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