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Steve Ballmer's Pay Valued at $1.3M

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer received a pay package valued about $1.3 million for fiscal 2007, a year in which profit at the world's largest software maker topped $14 billion, according to documents filed Friday.

For the year ended June 30, Ballmer received $620,000 in salary and a $650,000 bonus. Unlike some technology companies that spend millions on executive security, travel and other perquisites, Microsoft gave Ballmer a modest $6,750 in matches to his 401K retirement plan and approximately $3,000 worth of life insurance and athletic club memberships.

Ballmer, who owns about 4.3 percent of Microsoft's shares, received no equity compensation. He didn't exercise any stock options or vest any stock awards during the year, the company said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Microsoft's compensation committee "believes that Mr. Ballmer is underpaid for his role and performance," according to the filing. Ballmer's compensation added up to just a sliver of the $61.2 million package Oracle Corp. gave CEO Larry Ellison in fiscal 2007. It seemed on par with the $1.28 million package Amazon.com Inc. gave CEO Jeff Bezos -- except for the fact that personal security accounted for more than $1 million of Bezos' package.

Microsoft did not say what Bill Gates, the software maker's chairman, was paid in salary and bonus during the year. Gates, who owns about 9.3 percent of Microsoft shares, did not receive any stock-based compensation. The SEC requires companies to report the compensation details for a handful of highest-paid executives, and Microsoft said Gates' salary and bonus fell below those of Ballmer, Chief Financial Officer Christopher Liddell and three other executives.

At the annual meeting scheduled for Nov. 13, Microsoft shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on two shareholder proposals, also disclosed in Friday's filing.

One, brought by the New York City's comptroller, William Thompson, asked Microsoft to change its business practices in countries he described as "authoritarian." His proposal asks Microsoft to stop keeping data that can identify individual users who live in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries, and to refrain from giving equipment or training to government agencies in countries he identified as restrictive.

The other proposal asked Microsoft to establish a board committee on human rights.

Microsoft's board recommended shareholders vote against both proposals, citing existing efforts in both areas.

Shares of Microsoft added 23 cents to close at $28.65.

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