Ballmer’s Bonus Shrinks on Weakness of Windows

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Microsoft‘s board of directors has again penalized the company’s chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, for the company’s performance by giving him a smaller bonus than he was eligible for.

Under the company’s compensation rules, Mr. Ballmer was eligible for a bonus ranging from 0 to 200 percent of his base salary of $700,000, meaning he could have received up to $1.4 million in bonus money. Instead, he received $550,000, or 79 percent of his base salary.

He received 91 percent of his base salary as a bonus last year, when he was also eligible for a cash award of up to 200 percent of his pay. Weakness in Microsoft’s Windows division and the slow progress of its Internet unit were among the reasons Mr. Ballmer’s pay was docked then.

The bonus given to Mr. Ballmer, who announced in August that he would retire from Microsoft within 12 months, is mostly symbolic. Mr. Ballmer’s salary is low by the standards of big company leaders, and he does not accept new stock awards as part of his compensation.

Steve Ballmer kennt keine Geldnöte. Er hält 333 Millionen Aktien des Unternehmens und damit knapp vier Prozent an Microsoft. Sein Aktienpaket ist rund 11,3 Milliarden Dollar wert.