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Redmond Cuts Executive Pay

To those of you out there who have taken pay cuts recently (or been laid off by Microsoft), rest assured that the big wigs in Redmond are suffering right along with you. Steve Ballmer's salary cratered from $1.35 million to $1.28 million year-over-fiscal-year, and other Microsoft execs took pay cuts, as well. (Of course, compared to what the real losers on Wall Street have made over the years while helping wreck our economy, Ballmer's base compensation doesn't seem that outrageous.)

We've been wondering something lately, though. Remember a couple of years ago, when the economy was still swimming along, how there were calls for Ballmer to step down as Microsoft CEO? Where have those calls gone? Where are those skeptics now? We're not saying that Ballmer should step down (and we never have). In fact, with Windows 7, Azure and a major virtualization push, he's got Microsoft moving in a lot of good directions.

But did a bad economy absolve Ballmer of what some perceived to be his sins? Did it serve as a scapegoat and an out clause for a once-embattled CEO? It sure might have. Discuss or send your thoughts on this to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on October 01, 2009 at 11:55 AM


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