Microsoft pays Gates more than $NZ1.5m

Microsoft paid Bill Gates, its chairman of the board and chief software architect, a total of $US666,754 (more than $NZ1.5 million) fiscal year 2001, an increase of 4% over the previous year.

          Microsoft paid Bill Gates, its chairman of the board and chief software architect, a total of $US666,754 (more than $NZ1.5 million) fiscal year 2001, an increase of 4% over the previous year.

          Gates received a salary of $US494,992 (about $NZ1.17 million) and a bonus of $171,762 (about $NZ406,000) in the 12 months ending June 30, according to a statement filed by the company with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

          CEO Steve Ballmer collected a salary of $US494,076 (about $NZ1.17 million), a bonus of $171,444 (about $NZ406,000) and "other compensation" -- including pension and insurance premiums -- worth $5100 (about $NZ12,000) the filing said.

          Neither executive received or exercised Microsoft stock options in fiscal year 2001.

          However, Gates sold some 10% of his holdings in the company over the course of the year. He held 661,749,300 shares, or 12.3% of the company as of September 10, down from the 731,749,668 shares, or 13.7 %, he held on September 8, 2000.

          Ballmer, by contrast, sold less than 1% of his stake. He held 239,375,755 shares, or 4.4%, this month, as against 239,626,832, or 4.5% a year ago.

          Gates still tops Forbes Magazine's list of the world's 400 richest people, with a net worth estimated at $US46.8 billion as of Monday. But he also lost more money than anyone else in the stock market plunge since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US; his fortune is down $US7.2 billion, or 13%, since August 27, the magazine said.

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