Microsoft shareholders to vote on executive pay

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Microsoft
New York, Sep 21: Software giant Microsoft has decided to allow shareholders to vote on the pay of its board members.

Shareholders will be allowed to vote on the issue every three years, starting at the 2009 annual general meeting which will be held on 19 Nov 2009.

But the firm said that while the vote will not be binding, if there was a significantly "negative" call, it would "consult directly with shareholders to better understand the concerns that influenced the vote."

"Given the interest in executive pay, we think it makes sense to encourage more dialogue with our shareholders on our compensation approach," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel.

Microsoft is not known for its huge pay packets, but its executives have become millionaires through owning shares in the firm.

The basic pay of chief executive Steve Ballmer has grown this year to $665,833. He owns Microsoft shares worth more than $10 billion.

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