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Microsoft boss Nadella's compensation pack swells 10% to $55m

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, the median? Ratio to Redmond's average employee pay is 289 to 1

Relying on the karmic forces of the universe is clearly working out for Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, judging by his expanding compensation package.

The exec, who landed the role in 2014 and has presided over some monumental growth figures, particularly during the pandemic, scooped up a total of $54.946 million, up 10 percent on a year earlier, according to Microsoft's Proxy Statement 2022.

Nadella's base salary was unchanged at $2.5 million, and stock awards sat at $42.269 million, up from $33 million the year before. Non-equity incentive plan compensation fell to $10.06 million from $14.2 million. The final element, classified as "all other compensation", was $110,250, of which $100,000 was charitable gifts.

Some 96 percent of this near $55 million package was performance-based, versus 71 percent in 2021.

Microsoft grew revenue 18 percent to $198.3 billion in the year ended June 30, 2022, including a 32 percent jump in its cloud division to $91.2 billion. Operating profit was up 19 percent to $83.4 billion and net income grew by the same percentage to $72.7 billion.

When Nadella took over the organization, Microsoft turned over $86.8 billion in sales, net income was $22.1 billion, and earnings per share were $2.63. At the time the report was written, EPS was $9.65.

"Shareholders expressed a desire to ensure the ongoing retention and motivation of Mr Nadella and the independent members of the Board continue to have high confidence in Mr Nadella's exceptional leadership of Microsoft," it said.

Microsoft's growth has slowed in the past year as it has for many peers following a stall in economies around the world. Microsoft's share price has fallen 32 percent in the last 12 months.

The median pay for Microsoft staffers was $190,302 in fiscal 2022. "Based on this information, for fiscal year 2022 the ratio of the annual total compensation of our CEO to the annual total compensation of the median employee was 289 to 1."

Anyone among that workforce wanting a pay rise would do well to remember what Nadella said during his first months as CEO, when he spoke to an audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing event.

He said women should try to avoid asking for a raise and simply rely on "karma." Nadella added: "It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise."

Days later he admitted he was "inarticulate" about women asking for a raise and said closing the gender pay gap was important.

According to the Microsoft 2022 Diversity and Inclusion report, out yesterday, women working for the company earned 90 cents for each dollar that men made, according to median unadjusted pay stats. ®

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