Shareholders to Determine Ballmer’s Pay

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Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is a character people tend to either love or hate, but now that’s something that could well influence his pay.

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Microsoft has announced a plan under which its shareholders would have a say in just how much its CEO will be paid. According to Microsoft, the relatively uncreatively named “say on pay” plan came about for a number of reasons, with Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and board secretary summarising quite neatly,

“Given the interest in executive pay, we think it makes sense to encourage more dialogue with our shareholders on our compensation approach.” He went on to say that, “Our executive compensation program is designed to maximise shareholder value by attracting and retaining world-class leaders and aligning their financial rewards with the growth and success of the company.”

All of which is, basically, a very fancy way of saying that it’s hoping that it’ll see some improvement by “maximising shareholder value.” It’s impressive how convoluted people can be sometimes, but he gets the point across.

Sadly, it seems the shareholders won’t be the only input on Steve Ballmer’s pay, which might be a positive thing for the Microsoft CEO himself. The shareholders’ decision is to be “non-binding,” which means that we could well see it ignored entirely in favour of just keeping things as they are. Still, it’s an interesting plan and it’ll be intriguing to see how it pans out.

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