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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 weskurtz0081 on 10/1/2010 10:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
How many of those engineers do you think would be able to effectively run the company? Different trades my friend, different trades. Most of those engineers would likely run MS into the ground, that's why they are engineers and not CEO's.

I do agree though, it would be cool to see salaries equalize a little, but not at the expense of messing with the market. If supply and demand say that a CEO is worth $10 Million, then pay him $10 Million.

RE: Reasonable???
By therealnickdanger on 10/1/2010 10:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly my thoughts.

While the engineer who came up a cool interface or programmed a 10% performance increase into an OS might be one hell of an engineer, could he successfully combine the efforts of an entire team of engineers, marketing personnel, and focus groups? Could he allocate funding from multiple divisions and make tough decisions that might result in multi-million or multi-billion dollar losses or hundreds or thousands of jobs?

IMO, there are only a handful of people with the drive and determination to do that type of job. They either become CEOs or politicians. :)

RE: Reasonable???
By mcnabney on 10/1/2010 10:49:07 AM , Rating: 1
You really have no idea how companies work.

CEOs don't do any of that stuff. Their job is to maintain the right talent in the right roles at the director level and higher. They also have the ability to red/greenlight projects. All of the heavy lifting in managing a company is done by Finance and department directors. The top people are just front men (and a few women) who act as both cheerleader and top-talent manager.

That being said, all of the 'real' work in the company is done by engineers, senior analysts, and project managers.

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