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Print 34 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Oct 4 at 5:29 PM


Kin was an epic fail after only two months on the market  (Source: Microsoft)
Bonus was half what it could have been

There have been many epic failures in the tech world over the years. One of the most recent failures came from Microsoft in the form of the Kin mobile phones. Consumers stayed away from the Kin in droves and Microsoft quickly pulled the plug.

“You've got to be bold, you've got to look forward and you've got to stay focused,” noted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a recent interview. “Kin was neither -- with 20-20 hindsight -- bold enough relative to where the market's going, and it just defocused activity from Windows Phone."

Ballmer may have piloted Microsoft to its best year ever, but the missteps by the company cost Ballmer. Ballmer reportedly made his yearly bonus, but the bonus was half what it could have been.

Ballmer received a bonus equal to his entire yearly salary amounting to $670,000. That is certainly a massive bonus by most accounts. However, the proxy filing by Microsoft cited the reasons for Ballmer not getting his full bonus were "unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company's mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors."

Ballmer could have received no bonus at all, so not all was lost. The total pay that Ballmer took home for fiscal 2010 totaled $1.34 million. 
Reuters reports that Ballmer has 408 million shares of Microsoft for 4.7% of the company estimated to be worth about $10 billion.

Forbes lists Ballmer as the 16th richest person in America.



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RE: Reasonable???
By The Raven on 10/1/2010 10:07:21 AM , Rating: 1
I would have to agree (though it is a shame that the engineers don't get some more of that). But you also have to take into account performance. And from what I'm seeing, he's not doing that great a job. Of course that is just from my point of view and I am a know nothing shlub.

But my point is there are Presidents/CEOs/COOs/etc. who are everything to the company, and then there are guys who are (reletively) easily replacable, which Balmer is IMO.

But the bonus that is bigger than the salary is really what I don't get. I don't run a company or anything, but that seems like a system that would be easily and grossly corruptable.


RE: Reasonable???
By Spivonious on 10/1/2010 10:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ballmer is only still in that position because he's been with MS for so long (30 years). If he was just a cookie-cutter CEO, I think he would have been gone after Vista flopped.


RE: Reasonable???
By theapparition on 10/1/2010 10:55:47 AM , Rating: 3
A bonus larger than salary is a HUGE benefit to a company. The salary is contractually owned, where bonus is only available if certain metrics are met. If the company doesn't perform, then they don't have to pay the bonus, not the same can be said on salary, that must be paid.

Similar to professional sports players, whos base salary is fixt and then supplimented against performance metrics (ie, rushing so many yards, hitting so many homeruns, etc).


RE: Reasonable???
By The Raven on 10/1/2010 2:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
Those are good points. I guess I'm just a work what you're paid for kind of guy. For example, I hate the tipping system.

So in theory, I would like Balmer's set up if everyone who performed equally in accordance with their contracted salary also got the same treatment. But I doubt there are people who work just as hard for $50k getting 100k bonuses. I only hear about this stuff from the CEOs. And I'm not condeming them. Its their company; they can do whatever they want. I'm just thinking that this doesn't make sense.


RE: Reasonable???
By fic2 on 10/1/2010 6:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
Except apparently on Wall Street where the bonuses are also contractually owed. Stuff we found out when the U.S. taxpayers had to pay so many exec bonuses during the bailouts.


RE: Reasonable???
By chripuck on 10/4/2010 3:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
The only execs who were paid a bonus during the bailout were AIG execs in one of their spin off divisions which did fantastic in 2008. They deserved and earned their bonuses.


RE: Reasonable???
By The Raven on 10/4/2010 5:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree with this sentiment. My company (very large BTW) reduced bonuses for all employees because of the recession. I didn't get the bonus that I worked for and deserved. And I'm ok with that because otherwise the company as a whole might break under the financial strain.

Add to that the fact that the company was saved by the taxpayers (like me, who had their bonuses cut). And they get huge bonuses?! Not cool, anyway you slice it.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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