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Microsoft to execs: Please don't leave us. Here, have some shares

Needs 'continuity' after Ballmer's departure

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Microsoft will grease the palms of its most senior people with a lavish smattering of shares in a bid to prevent them following chief exec Steve Ballmer out the door.

Ballmer finally handed in his notice at Microsoft in late August as the company flies low on the back of its disastrous Surface slab push and a rehashed re-imagined Windows 8 operating system.

Redmond wants to head off any unforeseen departures of senior folk and has amended its Corporate Executive Officer Plan, it confirmed in an SEC filing.

"The company may from time to time make awards to executive officers under the Services Based Awards Agreement to achieve a range of objectives," the filing stated.

These special reward include ensure "continuity of key leaders during the transition to a new chief executive", and to preserve "our competitive position".

Microsoft did not name the execs who are in line for the windfall but confirmed that these awards will be in the form of additional shares, ranging between 25 to 150 per cent of the normal yearly bonuses. ®

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