Microsoft paid Gates US$666,754 in 2001

Microsoft Corp. paid Bill Gates, its chairman of the board and chief software architect, a total of US$666,754 in fiscal year 2001, an increase of four per cent over the previous year.

Gates received a salary of $494,992 and a bonus of $171,762 in the 12 months ending June 30, according to a statement filed by the company Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

CEO Steve Ballmer collected a salary of $494,076, a bonus of $171,444, and “other compensation” – including pension and insurance premiums – worth $5,100, the filing said.

Neither executive received or exercised Microsoft stock options in fiscal year 2001.

However, Gates sold some 10 per cent of his holdings in the company over the course of the year. He held 661,749,300 shares, or 12.3 per cent of the company as of Sept. 10, down from the 731,749,668 shares, or 13.7 per cent, he held on Sept. 8, 2000.

Ballmer, by contrast, sold less than one per cent of his stake. He held 239,375,755 shares, or 4.4 per cent, this month, as against 239,626,832, or 4.5 per cent, a year ago.

Gates still tops Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s 400 richest people, with a net worth estimated at $46.8 billion as of Monday. But he also lost more money than anyone else in the stock market plunge since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States; his fortune is down $7.2 billion, or 13 per cent, since Aug. 27, the magazine said.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., can be reached at