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Steve Ballmer, Other MSFT Execs Take a Pay Cut

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 38 comments

A recent SEC filing shows that even the biggest executives at Microsoft are feeling the effects of the tough, economic climate.

To say Microsoft just went through a very bad financial year is an understatement. This past fiscal year was the worst in Microsoft's history so it's no surprise that it also brought the first significant layoffs to come out of Redmond. Last January the company announced a reduction in staff amounting to 5,000, a move that often provokes the same reaction no matter what the company; why don't some of those big-wig executives take a pay cut instead?

Well apparently executives at Microsoft weren't spared either. An SEC filing shows that this year the software company reduced the sums paid to top executives including CEO Steve Ballmer and financial chief Christopher Liddell.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, it's true that the salaries listed for 2009 are all roughly $20,000 more than the salaries listed for 2008. However reductions in bonuses and stock awards have resulted in a lower direct compensation packages for the executives.

Robbie Bach, the highest-paid softie who heads up Entertainment and Devices, made $6.2 million this year, down from $8.28 million last year; Chief Operating Office, Kevin Turner made $5.4 million, down from $8.6 million in 2008 and Chief Financial Officer, Christopher Liddell received $3.5 million, compared to $4.8 million in 2008. Business Division president Stephen Elop saw his overall compensation increase (up to $4.8 million, up from $4 million a year earlier) however Microsoft details that this reflects the fact that Elop joined the company midway through FY08. Finally, CEO Steve Ballmer went from $1.34 million down to $1.27 million.

Check out the SEC filing here (table can be found on page 16).

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Blessedman , September 30, 2009 3:23 PM
    what do you with 8M a year salary? There is no such thing as debt or having to take a loan to own anything you would ever want... That is sick!
    What can you possibly do to be worth that kind of money?
  • 13 Hide
    Miharu , September 30, 2009 3:08 PM
    I feel so small.. with 0.000? million this years.
  • 10 Hide
    wildwell , September 30, 2009 3:15 PM
    Does anyone else find it strange that Ballmer (the CEO) is the lowest paid guy on the list?
Other Comments
    Display all 38 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    Miharu , September 30, 2009 3:08 PM
    I feel so small.. with 0.000? million this years.
  • 5 Hide
    ssalim , September 30, 2009 3:10 PM
    What, a softie makes $6.2 mil a year? huh? what does he do again? and he makes more than Steve Ballmer?!
  • 10 Hide
    danish_2828 , September 30, 2009 3:13 PM
    Steve Balmer seems to be the most responsible one of all the Execs with the lowest pay. I think they should all make less than him and then they wouldn't have to lay anyone off.
  • 3 Hide
    ravewulf , September 30, 2009 3:15 PM
    Those are some cuts! Course that's still a HUGE amount to get paid.
  • 10 Hide
    wildwell , September 30, 2009 3:15 PM
    Does anyone else find it strange that Ballmer (the CEO) is the lowest paid guy on the list?
  • 1 Hide
    christop , September 30, 2009 3:18 PM
    So I guess their pay cut was going from 200 mill a year to 170.. Poor things Hope they can sleep well tonight knowing such a tragic event has happen to them.....
  • 8 Hide
    danish_2828 , September 30, 2009 3:20 PM
    MSFT could save $14.82 million a year if they would reduce all the Execs to Steve's pay. Then they could keep all those 5000 employees and pay them $29,640 a year. I hate Execs. I know it's not much money. But it beats working at Wal-Mart.
  • 14 Hide
    Blessedman , September 30, 2009 3:23 PM
    what do you with 8M a year salary? There is no such thing as debt or having to take a loan to own anything you would ever want... That is sick!
    What can you possibly do to be worth that kind of money?
  • 6 Hide
    socrates047 , September 30, 2009 3:25 PM
    even with the cuts they still are making more money in one year than people make in their lifetime, when you make that kind of money your standard of living increases, since they don't drive $30 000 sedans, or live in small houses
  • 3 Hide
    digiex , September 30, 2009 3:41 PM
    What's next, Windows price cut? hopefully.
  • 7 Hide
    jellico , September 30, 2009 4:18 PM
    wildwellDoes anyone else find it strange that Ballmer (the CEO) is the lowest paid guy on the list?

    Not really. Steve Ballmer is one of the founders of Microsoft (Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer), as such his stock is worth several billion dollars. When you consider that, his salary is almost perfunctory.
  • 0 Hide
    nerdherd , September 30, 2009 4:19 PM
    wildwellDoes anyone else find it strange that Ballmer (the CEO) is the lowest paid guy on the list?

    I just checked out the table in the linked document and Steve Ballmer does have the highest salary, but for some reason he doesn't get stocks like the other guys do. Weird. I'm sure there must be some law or something to explain why he doesn't get them.
  • 0 Hide
    nerdherd , September 30, 2009 4:20 PM
    Or maybe he already has so many stocks that if they give him more he'll have too large a share or something.
  • 5 Hide
    ssalim , September 30, 2009 4:26 PM
    I still can't figure out how can one single person make 8 mil a year being a softie (what's that anyway, software programmer?). What do you do with 8 mil a year? I wouldn't know. I would be happy with 60k a year damn it.
  • 0 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , September 30, 2009 4:33 PM
    Maybe they meant BILLION on Steve's paycheck? Why would he get payed less? I mean, I sort of understand or can come up with some kind of reasoning but like others have said, everyone should be making what he makes, or less. No?
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2009 4:34 PM
    Cut them all down to less than a million each, that way there, they won't be so hard pressed to sell so many copies of Windows and Office at such high prices.

    Maybe then, the average person could afford to purchase a legal copy within their budget.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2009 4:35 PM
    I guess they won't like to fight a fair fight, and get a normal worker's wage huh?
    I can be happy if I make $20 per hour.. My wife has to do with $12 per hour!
  • 1 Hide
    mrface , September 30, 2009 4:49 PM
    Socrates047even with the cuts they still are making more money in one year than people make in their lifetime, when you make that kind of money your standard of living increases, since they don't drive $30 000 sedans, or live in small houses



    warren buffett doesnt drive anything outrageous... [/shrug]
  • 7 Hide
    nerdherd , September 30, 2009 4:52 PM
    Their high salaries really have no effect whatsoever on the price of Windows or Office. Even if you cut their salaries to $0 and then applied that as a price cut to Windows or Office we'd be lucky to save $0.25 on either product. I know there's a lot of hate for CEOs and high salaries these days, but there is a market that determines how much someone is worth. If they aren't worth that much then the company wouldn't be able to afford to pay them. I wish I made in the millions of dollars per year too, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get upset for someone else being successful.
  • -7 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , September 30, 2009 4:55 PM
    Wait... the bastards at the top make money in the MILLIONS?!

    What the hell? I thought you know , ya reached the top and you would make I dunno 600,000 a year. tops. still more then all the people I know. Thats insane.
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