Ballmer is lucky he is still getting a bonus

Opinion

Ballmer is lucky he is still getting a bonus

There were plenty of comments in mock sympathy voiced in the office for Steve Ballmer after it became clear he had missed out on half of his potential bonus and had to settle for just $670,000.

Despite record revenues the CEO of Microsoft was hit for failing to get an iPad challenging product quickly onto the market as well as the poor launch of its Kin mobile phone for teenagers.

Buried deep in an SEC filing the details of the bonus payment were made public and will be the cause of jokes which go along the lines of "poor Steve, how can he cope on just $675,000" etc, etc.

But there is one serious point that should be made here about the fact that Ballmer is being offered a chance to get a potential 200% bonus. Most in the channel have seen pay frozen or cut and bonuses become a thing of the past so to hear of a computer executive getting something akin to a banker's payout might cause some consternation.

Most of us will never have the chance to earn anything like that bonus and it's even more unlikely as the belt tightening of the last couple of years continues.

With pay awards being handed out after a couple of years of freezes at a rate that is below inflation there is still a long way for most of us to go before we have to face the sorts of problems Ballmer has suffered with his bonus.

This was first published in October 2010

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