WASHINGTON — Bill Gates. World's richest guy? Maybe so, but he isn't Microsoft Corp.'s top wage earner, according to company records released Monday.
That honor went to Robert J. Herbold, Microsoft's new executive vice president and chief operating officer, who pulled down $740,133 in salary and bonuses last year.
That's more than the $415,580 in annual salary and bonus for Gates, according to Microsoft's annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Even so, Herbold is nowhere on the Forbes magazine list of the world's richest individuals, which lists Gates as No. 1 with a fortune of $12.9 billion.
Gates, 39, owns 23.9% of Microsoft's stock, or 141.2 million shares. Herbold owns a mere 175 shares.
Herbold's handsome paycheck is part of a deal Microsoft made to entice the 53-year-old executive from Procter & Gamble, where he spent 25 years.
His base salary is $450,000; he was guaranteed a minimum bonus of $200,000 in the first two years. He also received $250,000 upon his hiring and will get another $250,000 per year for three years.
And Microsoft agreed to purchase $2 million in life insurance to replace policies he had at Procter & Gamble, according to the document.
That's not all. Herbold received Microsoft stock options, which he can't exercise for about six years, worth about $9.1 million, the SEC document says.