Ballmer sees his bonus cut, Hastings leaves Microsoft board

The Microsoft CEO was marked down for trouble in Europe and slow online and Windows growth

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saw his bonus shrink a little in 2012 while that of other Microsoft executives rose significantly, the software maker said Tuesday.

Ballmer received a bonus payment of US$620,000, about 91 percent of his target, the company said. Combined with a salary of $685,000 and other rewards, Ballmer received $1.3 million from Microsoft in its 2012 financial year.

Despite successfully guiding the company toward the imminent launch of Windows 8, a new Office suite and SQL Server 2012, and a 12 percent jump in server and tools revenue, the chief executive's performance was marked down due to a decline in the Windows division, slow growth in online businesses and the failure of the Windows division to offer European users a choice of which Web browser to use.

Ballmer's total compensation is dwarfed by that of Kevin Turner, the company's chief operating officer. Turner took home $10.7 million in the year, of which roughly three-quarters was in the form of Microsoft shares. His bonus was $2.4 million.

The information was disclosed in a proxy statement for Microsoft's annual general meeting of shareholders, which was filed with regulators on Tuesday ahead of the meeting on Nov. 28.

Other executives named in the filing included Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, who received $8.6 million in compensation; Kurt DelBene, head of the Office division, who took home $7.9 million; and Peter Klein, Microsoft's chief financial officer, who received $5.1 million.

Separately, Microsoft also said Tuesday that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings won't be seeking reelection as an outside board member at the company's annual general meeting.

The proxy statement did not give a reason for Hastings' departure. In a press release, Ballmer praised Hastings' tenure on the board.

Microsoft shareholders will vote on nine nominations for the company's board. They are Bill Gates, chairman; Steve Ballmer, CEO; Dina Dublon, former chief financial officer of JPMorgan Chase; Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College; Stephen Luczo, chairman, president and CEO of Seagate Technology; David F. Marquardt, general partner of August Capital; Charles Noski, former vice chairman of Bank of America; Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW; and John Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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