Poor Windows Phone 7 Performance Costs Ballmer Bigger Bonus

Paul Lilly

As outlined in Microsoft's 2011 Proxy Statement , company CEO Steve Ballmer will collect $682,500 in bonus pay, the same as his annual salary and equal to half of the maximum bonus pay he could have received. A variety of factors played a role in Ballmer not receiving the full bonus amount, including lower than expected sales of Windows Phone 7, a 2 percent dip in Windows and Windows Live Division, and the need for further progress in new form factors.

Despite the need for improvement, the tone was mostly positive. Microsoft's board praised Ballmer for his overall performance, pointing out "successful product launches including Kinect for Xbox and Office 365, enhancements to Windows Azure and Bing, continued progress positioning the company as a leader in the cloud and cloud-based infrastructure, key partnerships with Facebook and Nokia, and significant progress in development of the next generation of Windows."

This is the second year in a row Ballmer left a large portion of potential bonus pay on the table, with mobile performance a recurring theme. This time around it was Windows Phone 7, and last year he was criticized for the short lived Kin phone.

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