Someone’s paying attention at Microsoft. At least enough to only grant CEO Steve Ballmer half of his maximum bonus this year, because of Microsoft’s continued failure in the mobile industry, and because tablet computers are threatening Microsoft’s core Windows business.
As Reuters reports, “a discussion of Ballmer’s pay in the company’s annual proxy filing also referred to the ‘unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company’s mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors’.”
You may recall that Microsoft canceled its Kin mobile phone project after just 79 days; that Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform has seen its market share decimated by Apple, RIM, and Google; and that Apple’s iPad and tablets running Android are a huge threat to the Windows line, which generates a massive percentage of Microsoft’s profit.
As a result, Ballmer got a cash bonus of $670,000 for last fiscal year, the same as his salary, but only half his maximum potential bonus.
Will we see a repeat next year? Or will the new Windows Phone 7 handsets and Windows-based tablets save Ballmer?