July 20, 2004 6:40 PM PDT

Gates to donate $3 billion windfall

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Microsoft to share its wealth with investors

July 20, 2004
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates plans to give himself a $3 billion bonus.

But unlike many top executives in Corporate America, the world's richest man doesn't plan to keep a penny of it.

As part of a plan announced Tuesday to distribute $75 billion to shareholders during the next four years, stockholders will receive a one-time dividend of $3 per share. As the company's largest stockholder, with 1.1 billion shares, Gates stands to earn about $3 billion.

Gates said Tuesday that he plans to donate the windfall to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to expand access to technology through public libraries and to help fight diseases around the world. The foundation estimates its endowment at $27 billion.

"The pledge today is recognition that our world, the nation and our region--now more than ever--can and should dramatically improve equity in health, education, and access to information and human services for vulnerable families," Gates said in a statement Tuesday.

In the past, the foundation has pledged $60 million for research into microbicides to help prevent the spread of HIV and $40 million to create 70 schools dedicated to helping students earn high-school diplomas.

But Gates isn't going home empty-handed.

Microsoft also plans to spend about $14 billion to boost its dividend to a total of 32 cents per share a year. That should net Gates about $384 million.

CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns about 411 million shares of Microsoft, stands to make $1.23 billion from the one-time dividend and about $131 million from the regular dividend boost.

The one-time payout is conditional on shareholder approval.

12 comments

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Robbin' Hood
Thank you Citizen Gates for giving us a bonus, thank you Citizen Gates on giving away your bonus to charity, Thank you Citizen Gates on donating the money to your own Foundation that supplies Windows PC's to Libraries that helps them buy more Wintel Cartel PC's that lines your own pockets with money in return, Thank you Citizen Gates for being so smart that the Little Citizens won't be able to figure this out, Thank you!
Posted by (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank YOU for being "objective"
Contrary to popular beliefs, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation doesn't act as a conduit for "donating" Windows/MS products. Although I am sure that a portion of that charity does that, a sizeable amount goes to charities that fight AIDs, and other illnesses.

There is no doubt in any well-informed person's mind that Bill Gates is a very shrewd and calculating businessman. And that maybe some of his business decisions were ethically questionable, but to outright dismiss his immense charitable contributions around the globe is just pure predjudism.

If every successful CEO were to be as scrutinized as he is, you will undoubtedly find many have committed the same questionable practices - you just never noticed it because they don't earn billions!

Although 3 BILLION dollars is a small drop in the bucket for him, that is still a fair amount to donate - and not many billionaires, or even millionaires give as much of a percentage of their wealth as Bill and Melinda Gates do.

Would I like to do business with Bill Gates? Maybe, but I would watch my back (and him) very closely. However, even I cannot deny the tremendous contributions he and his family have made to the various charities over the years. Donations that have touched and improved many lives.

I thank God that I am not in need of such charities - but perhaps you may be jealous that you will never see a dime of that 3 billion?
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
Link Flag
As if .....
As if you needed proof that M$ products are way over priced. Just think when you buy a M$ product you are giving to charity. Of course you cannot take the tax deduction - Chairman Gates did that for (to) you.
Impeach Wintel!
Go Mac!
Go Linux!
Posted by connectr (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
evidently...
you don't know how much of a markup that nice shirt (or shoes) you wear is! Or how much of a markup is for many of the daily goods and services you pay for.

Let's put it this way, the people who made your clothes spent more $$ on advertizing than on the manufacturing of that garment - so the software industry isn't alone in their high-priced mark-ups.

However, I do agree with you that software is still way too expensive. Mac or PC - $99 for a "base" operating system with tons of security bugs is pretty pricey - but then, so is paying $30 for a shirt that only cost $5 to produce.
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
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as if...you wouldnt?
You know that if you made 30 million a month and 500 million a year bonus plus your pay for just being you , that you wouldnt be just like him. Linux this, linux that...whatever. I use linux but I cant teach my mother to use it. But with XP its already done for me. I dont need to spend 5 hours on the phone helping her set up a mail account, and configuring her Gnome. Its already done. So what the man has money. If you dont like his stuff, dont buy it. Your a free person do what you want and stop bit*hing, at least hes giving to a good cause, that helps children.
Posted by baggyguy1218 (155 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually..
"at least hes giving to a good cause, that helps children."

Actually no hes not.. hes helping himself and causing more children to die than would have if he hadnt interfered. Hes just hiding it behind a "charity" for good PR and tax benefits.

If you understood what the charity was doing with the money and what the side effects are going to be you would wind up sick to your stomach and raging.

Dont paint him the hero.. I dont understand how any human being could do what hes doing to those people all for the sake of protecting his million dollar income.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
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Bill Gates' Mother Taught Him Right
This is just one of many things done by Bill Gates' foundation. Irregardless of how you feel about Microsoft, his philanthrophy should not be dismissed. This philanthrophy was instilled in him from a young age by his mother. When he was young, a certain percentage of his earning had to go towards charitable efforts (I think it was 10%.) Obviously, this isn't 10% of his worth; however, that shouldn't be used against him to dismiss his actions.

When I started my first "real job" which really didn't pay diddly squat, I started donating 1% of my salary to charities. As I moved along in my career, I increased that donation and now give about 5%.

After 9/11 charitable contributions skyrocketed yet since then, they are lower than ever. Could you imagine if each person gave 1% to a charity they believed in? Instead of bashing Gates for doing what he is doing, I challenge you instead to give in time or money to a cause close to your heart to make this world a better place.
Posted by anonymuse (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OK I Will Speak Slowly So You Get The Message...
Third time's the charm.
If you go bac & actually READ the the 2 other replies that I wrote,
both times I stated that IT'S A GOOD THING TO GIVE TO
CHARITY! "THANK YOU Citizen Gates for giving to charity"
THE POINT IS not about giving to charity, EVERYBODY who can-
should. The point is that it's HIS foundation & Gates ALWAYS
does this with his PR agents (hence the article) + the PHOTO-
OPS. TRUE acts of charity expect nothing in return, Humility is
nobility... Dahlia Lama. Donate anonymously & without patting
yourself on the back. YES I DO DONATE TIME & MONEY TO
CHARITIES + do random acts of kindness to needy strangers.
BUT I normally do not tell people about it, since it's about the act
of giving NOT receiving... THAT"S THE POINT!
Posted by (71 comments )
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