Nadella has become one the technology industry’s biggest earners, with a total compensation package worth $84.3 million this year.
According to a document filed with securities regulators, Nadella has no chance of being released from the wheel of birth and death any time soon – unlike many Microsoft female employees.
The huge number is mostly made up of the estimated value of certain one-time stock awards given to Nadella, who became the company’s third CEO in February. He cannot actually receive the shares until 2019.
The massive stock awards, valued at $79.8 million overall, were designed to keep Nadella at Microsoft while the company was hunting for a new CEO, and to give him long-term incentives as CEO.
Large stock awards have not been necessary for Microsoft’s previous two CEOs, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, as both had multi-billion dollar holdings in the company.
Nadella’s compensation is set to be more modest, with “total target compensation” for fiscal 2015 set at $18 million, according to the company’s proxy filing.