Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pay slips 4% to $1.3 mn

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Washington: Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer’s pay package fell 4 percent after his bonus was trimmed, partly due to slower-than-planned progress in the software company’s online business and a drop in revenue at its Windows division.

Ballmer’s pay dropped to $1.3 million from $1.4 million in Microsoft’s latest fiscal year through June, according to an Associated Press review of a securities filing made Tuesday.

Ballmer, 56, got a performance-related bonus of $620,000, down from $682,500. His salary was little changed at $685,000.

All other compensation, which included company contributions to a 401(k) retirement plan, rose 10 percent to $13,128.

Ballmer voluntarily did not receive any stock awards, the same as a year ago.

His bonus was 91 percent of the target. Some factors considered by the board included a 3 percent decline in revenue for the Windows division and “slower than planned progress” at Microsoft’s online services division, which includes the Bing search engine.

The board also noted the Windows division’s failure to provide a browser-choice screen on some PCs in Europe as required by a 2009 deal with the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. Microsoft had agreed to offer European users a choice of rival Web software and in return, the commission dropped antitrust charges against the company. 

In July, however, the commission said it was opening an investigation into whether Microsoft had kept the commitments made in the deal, and warned that penalties for non-compliance would be “severe.” Microsoft cited a “technical error” for the lack of a browser-choice screen on some PCs, apologized and said it was taking steps to remedy the problem. 

On the plus side, the board noted that Microsoft generated $31.6 billion in cash flow from operations, an increase of 17 percent over the prior fiscal year. 

Microsoft plans to roll out its latest operating system, Windows 8, later this month. 

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