Microsoft announced Thursday that it awarded 37 million shares of restricted stock, worth $951 million, to about 900 executives and managers. The announcement comes three years after the software giant shocked Silicon Valley by halting employee stock-option awards.
The restricted stock was awarded as a bonus for work over the past three years, according to regulatory filings. One-third of the shares — priced at Thursday’s closing price of $25.70 — vested immediately, while the remainder will vest over the next two years as long as the individuals remain with the company, according to the documents.
Reuters reported that Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s business division, reaped the largest award — 875,334 shares. Kevin Johnson, co-president of the platforms and services division, fetched the second-largest chunk — 703,259 shares. Meanwhile, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and chief executive Steve Ballmer did not receive any restricted shares.
Microsoft director James Cash, who sits on the compensation committee, said in a statement that the company used “measurable criteria” to evaluate job performance and that the size of the restricted stock awards was in line with industry practices, added Reuters.