IBM boss given $5.4 million bonus for 2003

Samuel Palmisano was paid a US$5.4 million bonus for leading IBM Corp. in 2003, making his total compensation for the year US$6.95 million, the company said in a regulatory filing this week.

IBM's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) was awarded the compensation for navigating the company through "several challenges" and increasing its share in the server and small and medium-sized business markets, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Monday.

Palmisano's 2003 pay was over a million dollars more than he earned in 2002 when he was awarded a salary of US$1.43 million and a bonus of US$4.5 million.

The company said that it had a strong year in 2003, when it benefitted from cash from operations of US$14.6 billion, saw solid return on investments and successfully completed several acquisitions. IBM also touted the growth of its "on demand" strategy under Palmisano's leadership during the year.

Palmisano succeeded Louis Gerstner as the company's CEO in March 2002, and was appointed chairman on Jan. 1, 2003.

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