Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's first big hire got a $7.8 million signing bonus

Peggy Johnson, Microsoft executive VP of business developmentBloomberg WestMicrosoft Business Development VP Peggy Johnson

Microsoft paid a lot of money to poach Peggy Johnson from Qualcomm.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella convinced Johnson to work for the company as its VP of business development after 24 years at San Diego’s Qualcomm, he sweetened the offer with a $US7.8 million signing bonus.

Thanks to that one-time bonus, Johnson’s total annual pay for fiscal 2015 adds up to a hefty $US14.53 million.

The compensation detail comes from Microsoft’s proxy statement, basically a cheat sheet for shareholders ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in December, and was confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson.

Johnson’s overall $US14.53 million pay package puts her just below Nadella, who made just shy of $US18.3 million in the fiscal year ending June 2015. But it puts her ahead of Kevin Turner, traditionally the highest-paid exec after the CEO at Microsoft, with almost $US12.2 million.

It’s also worth noting that Johnson’s $US7.8 million signing bonus is a mix of cash and stocks, so she won’t be able to cash out entirely until her stock vests in 2018.

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