Microsoft CEO's bonus trimmed for Windows, browser misstep

SEATTLE Tue Oct 9, 2012 6:22pm EDT

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks during a launch event for new HTC Microsoft Windows phones in New York September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks during a launch event for new HTC Microsoft Windows phones in New York September 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer got a lower bonus than last year's, partly for flat sales of Windows and his failure to ensure that the company provided a choice of browser to some European customers.

Ballmer, who took over as CEO from co-founder Bill Gates in 2000, earned a bonus of $620,000 for Microsoft's 2012 fiscal year, which ended in June, down 9 percent from the year before, according to documents filed Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

His salary -- low by U.S. corporate standards -- remained essentially flat at $685,000.

It is the third year in a row that Ballmer has not earned his maximum bonus, set at twice his salary.

Microsoft's recent financial year was scarred by a massive $6.2 billion write-down for a failed acquisition and lower profit from its flagship Windows system as computer sales stood still

In the company's filing, Microsoft's compensation committee said it took into account a 3 percent decline in Windows sales over the year, as well as "the Windows division failure to provide a browser choice screen on certain Windows PCs in Europe as required by its 2009 commitment with the European Commission."

The company's failure to provide a browser choice in Europe was an embarrassing setback for the software maker, which has been embroiled in disputes with European regulators for more than a decade and paid more than $1 billion in fines for including its own Internet Explorer browser on Windows. It now faces further fines from a new investigation.

(Reporting By Bill Rigby; Editing by M.D. Golan)

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Comments (1)
americanguy wrote:
I read it several times, and yet I cannot find his salary.
Note this story is only about his bonus.
Ridiculous.
But requiring people to cough up $100.00 every couple of years for an OS that actually works, does not deserve any bonus at all.
Linux is eating Microsoft alive.
Anyone who uses Linux never goes back to expensive, clunky, and slow Windows.
Many large corporations have now switched to Linux because Windows is too expensive and too full of bugs.

Oct 09, 2012 7:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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