WASHINGTON — SATYA Nadella, the Microsoft CEO who controversially advised women not to ask for pay rises, is himself on a package worth more than $84m.
The technology chief received $79,8m in stock options when he took the reins of the company earlier this year, on top of a basic salary of $919 000 and a bonus of $3,6m.
Just more than $7m of the stock options were paid last year, in the 12 months to June, as part of Nadella’s annual package. The $79,8m figure also includes a one-off “special retention award” worth $13,5m and a long-term stock performance award worth up to $52,9m, depending on the company’s performance.
The latter two awards are payable between now and 2021. News of Nadella’s pay package came as the technology chief was still struggling to limit the damage from remarks he made over pay for female executives.
He told a conference earlier this month that women should rely on “karma” rather than asking for the pay rises they feel they deserve. “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,” he said at the event.
“It’s good karma. It will come back.” He has since retracted the remarks, saying first that he was “inarticulate” and then that he was “completely wrong”. He continued to apologise this week, at an event in San Francisco. “The last week and a half or so have been a learning and humbling experience for me.
“I was wrong in the way I answered that one question. I took my own experience and sprung it on half of humanity.”
Nadella’s blockbuster pay package is more than either of Microsoft’s previous CEOs — Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer — were ever awarded.