Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, who recently controversially advised women to not ask their employers for pay rises, is himself on quite a package, worth more than $84 million. Microsoft’s CEO received an astonishing sum of $79.8 million in stock options at the time when he took over the company earlier in 2014, on top of his basic salary of approximately $920,000 and his $3.6 million bonus.
A bit over $7 million of the stock options were already paid in 2013, in the 12 months to June, and represented part of Nadella’s annual package. The whole figure, $79.8 million, also included the “special retention award” worth more than $13 million as well Microsoft’s new CEO’s long-term stock performance award of up to $52.9 million, which will be awarded depending on the company’s performance.
These latter two awards are to be paid between now and 2021.
News of the CEO’s pay package came into the spotlight just as Nadella was struggling to limit the damage his remarks had done. Satya Nadella suggested that women not request pay raises from their employers, who, in his view, would automatically reward excellent work without being asked.
He also noted that women should trust “karma” rather than asking for the pay rises they feel they would deserve.
“It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,”
Satya said during the event.
“It’s good karma, it will come back.”
Nadella added to top everything off.
In the meantime, those remarks were retracted by Microsoft’s CEO, which claimed to have been “inarticulate” and apologized for having been “completely wrong”.
This week during an event in San Francisco, Nadella apologized yet again for his remarks:
“The last week and a half or so have been a learning and humbling experience for me. I was wrong in the way I answered that one question. I took my own experience … and sprung it on half of humanity.”
What’s worth noting is that neither Bill Gates nor Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO’s were ever awarded such blockbuster pay packages. The company’s explanations is that Ballmer and Gates had already been large shareholders when leading Microsoft, so that it created an” “intrinsic alignment with shareholders and the wealth-building opportunity their existing Microsoft shares afforded”.
Nadella’s comments won’t easily be forgotten, especially after causing a social media outrage.
“His comment is astonishing evidence that discrimination continues. It’s amazing that those with such bias still get to CEO jobs.”
One of the tweets said about Nadella’s comments.