Microsoft Corp granted investors the right to weigh in on executive pay every three years, with the first vote happening at this year’s shareholder meeting.
While the so-called say-on-pay vote will be nonbinding, the board and its compensation committee will review the results and address shareholders’ concerns, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a regulatory filing on Friday. If there is any “significant negative say-on-pay vote,” the board will consult with shareholders to understand why, the company said.
Microsoft, which announced in May that it was examining a say-on-pay plan, developed Friday’s proposal after meetings with shareholders, General Counsel Brad Smith said in a blog posting. In June, the board recommended a change that would let investors representing a quarter of shares outstanding call a special shareholders meeting.
The company also said Friday that chief executive officer Steve Ballmer received a 3.9 percent increase in base salary to US$665,833. The CEO’s bonus was US$700,000 last year.
Microsoft’s earnings this year fell to US$14.6 billion from US$17.7 billion last year. Sales dropped 3 percent to US$58.4 billion, the first time its revenue declined since it went public in 1986.
Microsoft’s shares fell US$0.04 to US$25.26 on Friday in NASDAQ Stock Market trading. The shares have climbed 30 percent this year.