In-Depth

The Microsoft Channel's 10 Highest-Paid Executives

Who are the executives with the highest compensation packages among Microsoft channel companies, and how much do they make? We dug through corporate filings to find out.

When Redmond Channel Partner magazine last ran its reader salary survey a year ago, average pay was $92,000 and the average CEO or chairman of a Microsoft partner company made $115,000. But there are much, much bigger paychecks to be had at the very top of some of the biggest partner companies in the Microsoft channel.

In this special report, we used federal government records to find out what top executives at publicly traded Microsoft partner companies made in 2011. (For more detail, see "Methodology.")

What follows are the top 10 highest-paid executives at publicly traded companies in the Microsoft channel. It's a truism that no two partner companies are alike, and that's represented in the variety of company types these executives worked for. There are technology specialists, ISVs, global systems integrators, vertical specialists and distributors. Some of the companies are relatively small, while others have hundreds of thousands of employees. (We did steer away from tech giants with channel programs of their own at a scale similar to Microsoft's, such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.)

Some of the executives presided over companies with fantastic performance in 2011. Others got big payouts despite lackluster company performance. In all, it took a compensation package north of $5 million to make the list.


10. Andrew M. Miller
$5 million
President and CEO, Polycom Inc.

Andrew M. Miller became president and CEO of Polycom in May 2010 after joining the company a little over a year earlier. In his first full year on the job, Miller took home a $730,000 salary and a $150,000 bonus. For Miller, like many other top executives on this list, it was stock awards, for the most part, that built his compensation. In Miller's case, the stock awards were valued at $3.3 million. Polycom, a unified communications solution provider and Microsoft 2011 Partner of the Year for Unified Communications Innovation, reported strong revenues and earnings with Miller in charge. The company reported $1.5 billion in revenues for 2011, a 25 percent improvement over 2010, and strong profit growth.


9. J. Edward Coleman
$5.7 million
Chairman and CEO, Unisys Corp.

J. Edward Coleman's compensation for 2011 came from a $972,000 salary and a $948,000 bonus, along with an option award valued at $2.4 million and stock awards valued at $1.1 million. Coleman, an IT and channel veteran with experience at Gateway Inc., Arrow Electronics Inc., CompuCom and Computer Sciences Corp., joined Unisys in 2008. During 2011, Unisys revenues fell 4 percent to $3.85 billion, and profits also fell as the services, software and hardware company's federal business struggled.


8. Gregory Spierkel
$7 million
Former CEO, Ingram Micro Inc.

Gregory Spierkel stepped aside as CEO of Ingram Micro in January to make way for Ingram President Alain Monié. After assisting with the transition, Spierkel left the company on April 15 to spend more time with his family, according to a company statement. In his final year of the CEO job he held since 2005, Spierkel made $7 million. The figure included $850,000 in salary, stock awards valued at nearly $4.6 million and non-equity incentive plan compensation of $1.5 million. That compensation came during a year when the distribution giant recorded $36.3 billion in revenues, a 5 percent increase over sales for 2010. Profits dipped slightly for the year.


7. A.L. Giannopoulos
$8.7 million
Chairman, President and CEO, Micros Systems Inc.

The pay package for A.L. "Tom" Giannopoulos came in chunks of $2 million or more each from four different sources. Salary was $2 million, bonus was $2.1 million, option awards were valued at $2.5 million and non-equity incentive plan compensation was $2.1 million. Micros Systems, which supplies information systems to the hospitality and retail verticals, reported strong results for its fiscal 2011, which ended June 30, 2011. Compared to the prior year, revenues increased 10 percent to $1 billion and net income increased 26 percent to $144 million.


6. Vinny Smith
$8.8 million
Chairman and CEO, Quest Software Inc.

Vinny Smith added his old duties as CEO to his chairman responsibilities in February of this year, just ahead of the announcement that Quest Software was attempting to go private in a transaction that valued the company at $2 billion. In 2011, as executive chairman, Smith was the highest-paid named officer at Quest with $8.8 million in total compensation. In addition to a $1 million salary, he received a bonus of $255,000, non-equity incentive plan compensation of $203,700 and option awards valued at $7.3 million. Given the move to take the company private, the late-April filing of Smith's 2011 compensation package may be the last time his pay is required to be made public.

Next Page: Nos. 5-1


5. Roy Vallee
$11.1 million
Executive Chairman, Avnet Inc.

Pay for Roy Vallee, the executive chairman of electronic parts and enterprise computing distributor Avnet Inc., totaled $11.1 million. Vallee's salary amounted to $1.1 million, and he received non-equity incentive plan compensation of nearly $2.9 million. The company valued his stock awards at $3.9 million and his option awards at $1 million. Vallee also benefitted to the tune of $2.1 million from a change in the actuarial present value of his pension. The pay came during a solid performance year by Avnet. For Avnet's 2011 fiscal year, which ended July 2, the company's revenues grew 39 percent to $26.5 billion and diluted earnings per share rose 62 percent compared to the previous year.


4. Francisco D'Souza
$11.8 million
CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.

Stock awards made up the bulk of Francisco D'Souza's 2011 compensation as CEO of Cognizant, a 137,700-employee, Teaneck, N.J.-based provider of IT, consulting and business process outsourcing services. D'Souza's stock awards were valued at $10.3 million, adding to a base salary of $566,500 and non-equity incentive plan compensation around $900,000. The company, which counts Microsoft as one of four strategic alliance partners, experienced rapid growth in 2011. Revenues increased 33 percent to $6 billion and diluted earnings per share were up 20 percent.


3. James Heppelmann
$12.3 million
President and CEO, Parametric Technology Corp.

James Heppelmann owed most of his 2011 compensation package to a large stock award from Parametric Technology, a Needham, Mass.-based provider of product lifecycle management solutions for discrete manufacturers. Heppelmann received a stock award valued at $10.6 million. His base salary was $750,000 and his non-equity incentive plan compensation amounted to about $985,000. Parametric Technology had a strong 2011, with revenue growth of 15 percent to $1.17 billion and diluted earnings per share growth of 250 percent to $0.71 per share.


2. Michael Laphen
$12.5 million
Former Chairman, President and CEO, Computer Sciences Corp.

Michael Laphen announced plans to retire from Computer Sciences (CSC) in October 2011, and stepped down after the CSC board named Mike Lawrie president and CEO earlier this year. In Laphen's final year, he pulled down $12.5 million in compensation. That included $1.1 million in salary, $4.6 million in stock awards, $2.7 million in option awards, $1.3 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and a $2.6 million change in pension value. While CSC won't report full-year financial results for 2011 until a few days after this issue goes to press, Lawrie has already described the job he faces following Laphen in chilling terms for investors. "The business does have significant challenges and we should absolutely consider this a pretty significant turnaround effort," Lawrie said in an April conference call with analysts.


1. William Green
$16.1 million
Executive Chairman, Accenture plc

A frequent winner of Microsoft Partner of the Year awards, along with its Microsoft-focused subsidiary, Avanade Inc., Accenture is a huge player in the IT services, management consulting and outsourcing industry. As head of the company, William Green's compensation was $16.1 million, which included a salary of $1.25 million, stock awards valued at nearly 10 times that and non-equity incentive plan compensation of $2.7 million. Green's compensation came amid broad growth for Accenture's most recent fiscal year, which ended in August 2011. The company increased revenues by 18 percent to $25.5 billion and diluted earnings per share by 28 percent to $3.40 compared to the previous year.

Dinah Brin provided research for this article.