Microsoft's CEO is routinely chastised for the company's dismal stock performance, but it is unlikely that anyone will complain about his rather modest compensation.
In addition to his $685,000 base salary, Ballmer is entitled to up to twice that - or $1.37 million - as a bonus, depending on the company's performance. However, the board only approved a bonus of $620,000 for the past year - or 91 percent of his "target award," according to an SEC filing. In the year before, Ballmer received $685,000 bonus.
Of course, $600K is nothing to sneeze at, but it reflects a fiscal year that included Microsoft's first ever quarterly loss due to a write-down for the acquired Aquantive, as well as continued heavy losses in Microsoft's online business and the overall operating income performance of Microsoft "relative to 25 large technology companies."
The summarized evaluation, including Ballmer's self-evaluation, considers the factors of:
"substantially completing development of Windows 8 and the new Office suite; successful launch of SQL Server 2012 and System Center 2012 contributing to 12% growth in Server and Tools Business revenue; integration of Skype; progress in introducing new form factors such as Surface; strong operating expense discipline; modest growth in Windows Phone market share; the 3% decline in revenue for the Windows and Windows Live Division (1% after adjusting for the impact of the Windows Upgrade Offer); slower than planned progress in the Online Services Division; 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; and overall solid business performance that produced $31.6 billion in cash flow from operations, an increase of 17%."
Among Microsoft's top executives, Ballmer received the lowest bonus compensation. CFO Peter Klein received $950,000, president for the Office Division Kurt DelBene was awarded $1,812,500, president for the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky got $1,520,00, and COO Kevin Turner topped the charts with $2,400,000. Ballmer's total compensation, which did not provide him with any stock awards for the 2012 fiscal year, rang in at $1,318,128. The highest paid Microsoft executive was COO Kevin Tuner with a total compensation of $10,683,671.