Ballmer is not the richest CEO wizard in the world

While there have been calls for the axe to fall on the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “there is a kind of hush” Ballmer, it seems that his salary is falling behind those of his peers.

The Seattle Times  ran a yarn about the 20 highest-paid chief executives in the Pacific Northwest. What was interesting is that “the Voice” of Microsoft didn’t even make the top 20.

The top of the list was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, whose total 2009 compensation of $14,971,152 while James Bianco of Cell Therapeutics was a Number two with $12,592,030.

Clearwire CEO William Morrow collected $11,657,360 and Micron Technology CEO Steven Appleton netted $8,190,239 and Nike CEO Mark Parker $7,113,383.

Ballmer, on the other hand only managed a measly $1,265,833, according to a Microsoft filing with the US  Securities and Exchange Commission.

What is perhaps strange is Ballmer’s lieutenants would have made the list, had they been CEOs. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell, former Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner all made more cash than their supreme Dalek.

Still Steve can take pride in the fact that he is still one of the richest people in the world. He ranked Number 33 on Forbes’ 2010 list. Forbes estimates that on a good day Steve is worth $14.5 billion.

We guess if you are already sitting on a huge pile of cash, and Microsoft shares, your salary is basically paying you to keep or increase its value.  In other words you are being paid to keep being paid.