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).