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Tech Industry

Gates, Ballmer top $1 million in pay

The Microsoft execs have long been billionaires; last year they cracked the $1 million annual-pay threshold.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer have finally entered the millionaire's club.

Although the duo have long been billionaires, last year they both cracked the $1 million annual-pay threshold, up from about $900,000 in total pay the prior year. For fiscal 2005, Gates and Ballmer each received a $600,000 salary and $400,000 in bonus pay.

"The compensation of Messrs. Ballmer and Gates reflects their status as significant shareholders of the company," Microsoft said in its annual proxy filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Their salaries are significantly below competitive levels elsewhere in the information technology industry and large market capitalization U.S. companies, and they do not participate in the company's equity compensation program."

The pair's pay is actually less than at least two of their subordinates. Jeff Raikes, who heads the unit that includes Microsoft Office, received $1.15 million in salary and bonus in fiscal 2005, while former sales chief Kevin Johnson received $1.05 million in salary and bonus.

Last week, as part of a massive reorganization, Johnson was promoted to co-president of the unit that includes Windows, sharing duties with Jim Allchin, who plans to retire at the end of next year. Allchin received $1 million in salary and bonus.

For the coming year, the top executives will all get raises in their base salary. Gates and Ballmer will get a base pay of $620,000, while Johnson, Raikes and Allchin will earn $600,000, according to a separate SEC filing also made Wednesday.

Gates recently topped Forbes' latest list of the wealthiest people in the United States.