Microsoft is perking for high-up employees


Microsoft has introduced new rewards to retain top personnel, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The incentives include promotions, stock options to buy as many as 200,000 shares – more than five times the usual number – and extra vacation time, ranging into “virtually unlimited” time off, the Journal says.

The perks are going to high-level executives and important software engineers.

More than 30 managers have recently been promoted to vice president, including Yusef Mehdi, head of marketing for MSN Internet service; Ben Waldman of the mobile-devices group; Will Poole, now in charge of the digital media division; Mike Nash of content-development and delivery; Russ Stockdale of the knowledge-worker solution group; and Jim Kinsella, at MSN sales and MSNBC.

The title “distinguished engineer” has been created for software writers who do critical work but might not want to move up the management chain, the Journal says. So far 13 people have been granted the new title.

Microsoft confirmed the Journal’s story but would not elaborate.

The Redmond software giant has lost staff to Internet startups and is facing stiff competition recruiting on college campuses.

In the Puget Sound area alone, former Microsofties have formed, an expert-advice site in Seattle; digiMine, a Bellevue company helping locate unsuspected patterns in corporate data; and Ignition Corp., a Bellevue investment firm formed by eight former Microsoft employees.

Microsoft has said it is constantly reviewing its compensation structure to remain competitive.

Published by: Seattle Post Intelligencer

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