Pay checks for Gates, Ballmer fall short of $1 million

With slight salary hikes but reduced bonuses, they each pull in $966,667 in the last fiscal year.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer may be valued in the billions of dollars, but they didn't quite crack the $1 million mark in annual salary and bonuses for the last fiscal year.

Each saw slight salary hikes, to $616,667 in fiscal 2006 from $600,000 in 2005. But they also pulled in reduced bonuses--$350,000 in 2006, as opposed to $400,000 in 2005.

"As the leaders of the company, they are focused on building long-term success, and as significant shareholders in the company, their personal wealth is tied directly to sustained increases in the company's value," Microsoft said in its annual proxy filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Once again, the duo were topped in annual compensation by Kevin Johnson, co-president of the company's platforms and services division, which includes Windows, and Jeff Raikes, president of its business division, which includes Microsoft Office. Those executives each received $1,095,000 in salary and bonuses.

Gates, 50, in June relinquished his title as chief software architect and announced that over the next two years, he plans to move away from a full-time role with the company. He said he wanted to devote more time to the philanthropic ventures of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The most recent tally by Forbes magazine pegged Gates' worth at $53 billion and Ballmer's at $13.6 billion.

The company's fiscal year ended June 30.

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