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Microsoft CEO Nadella received US$18m in 2016 pay

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 08:21

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Microsoft Corp chief executive officer Satya Nadella's reported compensation fell 3.3 per cent to US$17.7 million in the software maker's latest fiscal year ended June 30.

[NEW YORK] Microsoft Corp chief executive officer Satya Nadella's reported compensation fell 3.3 per cent to US$17.7 million in the software maker's latest fiscal year ended June 30.

Mr Nadella received about US$5.66 million in salary and bonus and a US$12 million stock award, according to a preliminary proxy statement filed Monday. About half of the shares will vest in 2018 if Microsoft achieves targets including revenue, operating income and a number of commercial cloud subscribers - and its stock outperforms 60 per cent of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. The remainder will vest in full by 2019 if he remains on the job.

Microsoft's board moved to tie part of Mr Nadella's annual stock grant to targets and cut back its discretion over cash bonuses after more than a quarter of voting shareholders rejected its executive compensation program at the company's last two annual meetings.

In talks with directors, investors voiced concerns about excessive payout limits for bonuses and stock awards, and insufficient disclosure of factors used to evaluate performance, the filing said. Companies in the S&P 500 received on average 91 per cent support for their pay programs in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Pete Wootton, a spokesman for the Redmond, Washington-based company, declined to comment beyond the filing. Microsoft shares increased 15 per cent in the 12 months ended June 30, compared with a one per cent increase in the S&P 500.

When he was named CEO, Mr Nadella received a stock award valued at US$59 million that will vest in three increments in 2019, 2020 and 2021 if Microsoft's total returns to shareholders exceed 60 per cent of companies in the S&P 500 in the five prior years. The face value of the award was disclosed as part of his 2014 compensation. 

The company's total return has increased 70 per cent since Mr Nadella took the job in Feb 2014, compared with a 30 per cent increase in the index.

Kevin Turner, who left his job as chief operating officer in July, was the second-highest paid executive officer in fiscal 2016 with US$13 million.

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