Microsoft's board decided to pay Chief Executive Steve Ballmer a $682,500 bonus on top of his $682,500 salary in the fiscal year that ended June 30, concluding that Ballmer met, but did not exceed, his performance targets for the year.
The pay was disclosed today in Microsoft's annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ballmer's compensation plan allows for the bonus to be two times his salary, if the board deems his performance worthy.
In the filing, the board gave Ballmer credit for the successful product launches of the Kinect motion-sensing controller for the Xbox as well as the cloud-based Office 365. The board also noted "enhancements" to Windows Azure and Bing, as well as "continued progress positioning the company as a leader in the cloud and cloud-based infrastructure."
Ballmer also benefited from the company's partnerships with Facebook and Nokia. And the board noted the company's "significant progress in development of the next generation of Windows." The company previewed Windows 8 at its Build conference in Anaheim, Calif., last month. And last, the board credited Ballmer for his work in the pending acquisition of videoconferencing pioneer Skype.
The board also highlighted a few misfires that prevented Ballmer from receiving his total potential bonus. It pointed to "lower than expected initial sales of Windows Phone 7." Ballmer said as much during the company's financial analyst meeting in September, noting: "We haven't sold quite as many probably as I would have hoped we would have sold in the first year."… Read more