Feeds

Gates' stake in MS – 14 per cent and falling

Only another $60bn of portfolio diversification to go...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

According to Microsoft's proxy statement, as of 8 September Bill Gates' had only 13.7 per cent of Microsoft's shares (worth $43.9 billion at $60), and Steve Ballmer 4.5 per cent (worth $14.4 billion). The 31 executive officers and directors as a group control 18.8 per cent of the company. Mrs Gates has $12.9 million in shares in her own right.

Although general counsel Bill Neukom had a promotion to executive VP, his salary didn't leap ahead of mere group VPs Jim Allchin or Jeff Raikes. CFO Bob Herbold is the highest paid, with $1,010,802 in salary and bonus, while Gates tips the scales at $639,401, marginally ahead of Allchin, Raikes and Ballmer.

The stock options granted to Herbold, Allchin and Raikes are now worth considerably less than when they were granted. Microsoft's stock price performance shows it has done no better than the NASDAQ index since 1996.

Unusually, there are two shareholder proposals for the annual shareholders' meeting on 9 November. One wants Microsoft to report to shareholders on its policies and use of shareholders' funds for political purposes, and states that Microsoft's political contributions make it the fourth largest donor (behind tobacco, phone and freight lobbyists, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics). Another shareholder proposal concerns Microsoft's business practices in China and wants 11 principles for human and labour rights to be observed by the company in its operations there.

In both cases, the Microsoft board is recommending shareholders to vote against the motions, so they are unlikely to be passed because of the proxy votes that will most probably support the board. The democratic process is not exactly helped by a requirement that shareholder proposals must be received by Microsoft nearly six months before the annual meeting, if they are to be included in the proxy statement.

Microsoft has also decided in effect to reduce the size of its board by saying that it had "no immediate plans" to nominate additional board members to replace Paul Allen and Richard Hackborn (previously of HP), who were stepping down. Gates is attributed a rather ungenerous comment about Allen, noting that he was "instrumental in the creation of Microsoft", rather than crediting him with being one of the two founding partners. Allen will be a "senior strategy advisor", but his excuse that attending board meetings was too time consuming does not sound very convincing, since there were only five last year. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.