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Microsoft creates new VPs, new job titles, new share options

Life's just one big holiday at Microsoft

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Caring, sharing Microsoft is giving away shares, promoting folks left right and centre, and even inventing new job titles for people who don't want to be promoted. In a move reminiscent of a Moonie mass wedding, the Beast of Redmond has just created 30 new vice-presidents and handed them options on up to 200,000 shares - worth a cool $14.5 million even after the carnage on Wall Street over the last few days. And in a move redolent of Dilbert at his finest, the software behemoth is creating the new title of 'distinguished engineer' for employees who don't want to be promoted to management. This, unfortunately, creates a whole new sub-class of 'undistinguished engineers'. Top executives are also to be encouraged to take as much time off as necessary "to balance the needs of their work and families". The surprisingly generous moves come as a result of the shortage of graduates who are preferring to start their own dotcom operations rather than join an organisation whose image has been severely tarnished by the US government anti-trust action, linked with an accelerating rate of loss of senior staff over the last few years. ®

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