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back to article Microsoft to execs: Please don't leave us. Here, have some shares

Microsoft will grease the palms of its most senior people with a lavish smattering of shares in a bid to prevent them following chief exec Steve Ballmer out the door. Ballmer finally handed in his notice at Microsoft in late August as the company flies low on the back of its disastrous Surface slab push and a rehashed re- …

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Question

Are these new shares, conjured up by an accountant based on some perceived growth in the value of the company? Or are they pre-existing shares, bought back by the company from a previous shareholder?

If the former, won't this lead to share devaluation?

If the latter, who's been selling?

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Re: Question

It doesn't matter. Whether the shares have been 'conjured up' or bought on the open market, there has been a cost to shareholders in the form of either a devalued shareholding or money leaving the company. The only issues are whether the executives are worth the cost, and which transaction is cheapest to execute.

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Re: Question

I'm inclined to think that any executive who wishes to follow Ballmer is an executive without whom Microsoft will be much better off. Conversely, those who now see an opportunity to redirect the corporation in a more fruitful direction shouldn't need any greater incentive than Ballmer's departure to stay. They've already benefitted 10% on their shares because of Wall Street's reaction. Their negotiations with the company should be all about Microsoft's future direction and their part in it, rather than about renumeration.

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Anonymous Coward

MS Execs respone....

Thanks all the same but we are off to a company where the share price will be going on an upward trend and not down.

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Pint

uh...

Isn't Steve Ballmer's departure the best incentive to there is to stick around? My guess is execs would give up a large number of shares to see him leave sooner.

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Re: uh...

I was going to post almost exactly the same thing. I should imagine that the haemorrhage of seniors will stop just as soon as Ballmer and his "kill-the-rivals" strategies are out of the building. Some of the more talented ex-MSofties might even consider returning, once his death-grip's off the tiller, to help direct the ship off the rocks to which she's presently bound.

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Re: uh

In fact, the share price rise directly caused by the departure of monkey boy will probably add more on to the worth of their existing share options than they'll get in new ones

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Re: uh...

No doubt it would be incentive for some, but I suspect that Ballmer had his allies. Of course, how effective this ploy is would depend on how faithful was his following.

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Joke

What?? Elop???

"Are you out of your mind?? We're done, leave tomorrrow!!"

"Wait, please! Here, take these shares, they are nice right? Right??"

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Re: What?? Elop???

Hey, Elop did a great job as a CEO. At least from Microsoft's perspective.

He was like the second coming of Rick Belluzo.

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Augean Stables?

Apart from the tendency of a CEO to mould the senior executive stratum in his own image - a good enough reason on its own - I would have thought the accumulation of hare-brained decisions since XPSP3 justifies the Board in orchestrating a wholesale clear out.

Are we supposed to think there is star quality in depth waiting to be unleashed?

In fact taking account of a proportionate loss according to the size of the company, many many companies writing off 900 million would have seen heads rolling by the basket load.

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Re: Augean Stables?

MS wrote off $6.3 billion about a year ago, the aQuantive acquisition that went nowhere but hardly anyone in the tech biz noticed. The acknowledged losses of the Surface RT are small change compared to that. As for the financial results, MSFT 2013 yearly figures released in July were up several percent over the previous year in revenues and profits, probably because the Surface RT writedown this year wasn't as brutal as the aQuantive writedown...

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Anonymous Coward

Brilliant

Receive sub-par bonus offer (what a measly 25%?) to confirm your being superfluous.

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Odd..

Would have thought with the sweating moron gone people would have wanted to stay on?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Odd..

You're leaving this site then? Comments won't be missed.

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ValueAct

They want to keep their existing lot? Best thing they could have done would be to block ValueAct from getting a seat on the board. I wouldn't want to sit at the same table as them, either.

They're a disaster waiting to happen.

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Anonymous Coward

Why the obsession with Execs?

given these "leaders" take home 10x if not 100x of the pay of those below them who actually think up the strategies and execute what does it matter if there's some loss along the way as Ballmer drags some others into his wake.

it might be the changes for some fresh blood - either promoted internally or lured in from outside - to help MS redefine it's path forward for the next wave.

while the Skype acquisition hasn't exactly been good for the users (or the Lync and Messenger teams) it did bring Tony Bates with it, who at least seems capable

the Board should look at the ROI and question where their "I" is better spent to improve the "R". Just curious... at what level does Stack Ranking and for Forced (out) curve stop? perhaps if it went all the way to the top they wouldn't have to worry about retention bonuses for the {cream|scum} that floats to the top because they'd be living in the same fear of under-performing (or being seen to be under-performing by not "manging visibility" well enough) that their minions have as a daily reality

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Facepalm

Re: Why the obsession with Execs?

You need executives because you have to put the ass kissing backstabbing yes men\women sociopaths in the company somewhere.

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hmm

If Microsoft's board gave 2 sh*ts about their executives they would have shit canned Ballmer long ago. Few CEOs have ran off top talent (ie rivals) better than Stevie. That barndoor has been open for a decade.

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Anonymous Coward

Translation

We want you to all stick around so the new boss can have the pleasure of firing you after you bring your replacement up to speed.

Rule number one when a new boss come in - out with the old and bring in your friends.

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