Ballmer's bonus suffers again

For the second year, the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO, Steve “There’s a kind of Hush” Ballmer has not collected a bonus for his efforts in running the company.

According to Reuters, Ballmer showed up at the board meeting with his cap in hand asking for something nice to take home to Tiny Tim, but the board was decidedly Scrooge-like.

Ballmer, 55, did get a bonus but it was just a miserly $682,500 for the latest fiscal year, matching his annual salary. Under his bonus scheme, he was eligible to receive between zero and double his salary.

Last year he got the same amount of dosh, and that was due to the fact that the Kin phone was a disaster and he had failed to keep up with the Jobsies.

Ballmer took over from Bill Gates in 2000, and has been a lightning rod for criticism of the former technology leader’s static share price. So far at least one shareholder called for him to be removed but he appears to have superglued his back end to the CEO’s chair.

According to a Volish regulatory filing, Ballmer’s performance review for fiscal 2011 took into account lower than expected sales of Windows Phone 7 software and “the need for further progress in new form factors.”

There had also been a two percent dip in sales at its key Windows unit, which was in line with global personal computer sales.

However Vole’s compensation committee recognised that he had been successful in launching the Kinect hands-free gaming system for Xbox and the online Office 365 product, while building up the Azure cloud computing platform and Bing search engine.

They also liked the way be bought the online chat company Skype, which has not yet been completed, and partnerships with Facebook and phone maker Nokia.

Ballmer does not receive no stock compensation. If he had, he might have had a dramatic boost to his pay packet. But he owns 3.95 percent of Vole and is the 33rd richest person in the world with a fortune of $14.5 billion.

Ballmer’s is one of the lowest-paid leaders of a major US company.