Larry Ellison is overpaid, while Steve Ballmer is unmotivated

Tim Faulkner · 10/01/07 05:29PM

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, thinks Larry Ellison, his equivalent at Oracle, is overpaid. Ballmer says of Oracle's compensation: "I find it interesting and probably not that considered a decision to do what [Oracle have] done." (Ellison received about $74 million, while Ballmer received less than a million dollars.) Which is probably true, but I doubt Ballmer would be talking about it if Microsoft's own compensation committee hadn't said that he's "probably underpaid." Or if he wasn't already worth $15 billion, thanks to his holdings of Microsoft stock. Ballmer thinks increasing the value of his 4 percent ownership of Microsoft is enough motivation — but why is the CEO even bringing up the issue?