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Microsoft grants investors vote on pay

SOFTWARE giant Microsoft has agreed to let its shareholders vote on its bosses&rsquo; pay packages, following the fierce debate over executive pay in the recession.<br /><br />The firm will hold a vote every three years on its executive pay, starting with its annual meeting on 19 November, although the result of the vote will not be binding. <br /><br />Microsoft said in the event of a &ldquo;significant negative&rdquo; vote against its pay packages it would &ldquo;consult directly with shareholders to better understand the concerns that influenced the vote&rdquo;.<br /><br />The move comes as big companies fight to show they are considering public sentiment on the pay row, and after the US Congress has been discussing legislation on so-called &ldquo;say on pay&rdquo; measures to give more involvement to shareholders.<br /><br />Microsoft said it adopted the vote after discussions with shareholders, including Walden Asset Management, Calvert Investments and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which had submitted similar proposals for say-on-pay votes.