Leak of Microsoft Salaries Shows Fight for Higher Compensation

The numbers range from $40,000 to $320,000 and reveal key details about how pay works at big tech companies

Dave Gershgorn
OneZero
Published in
6 min readSep 13, 2019

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Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty

NNearly 400 Microsoft employees are sharing their salaries with each other to better determine whether they’re being fairly compensated.

The effort stems from a private Facebook group, Young Microsoft FTE, where full-time employees (FTEs) gather to discuss the company. The salaries are collected in a shared Google spreadsheet.

“Share your anonymous info so we can all get paid more together,” reads a header at the top of the form.

The spreadsheet gives a detailed look at how compensation breaks down for some Microsoft employees. Data points include years of experience, years at Microsoft, percentage of merit-based raises, and base pay, as well as stock, and cash bonuses. Some employees also noted special stock dispensations, indicative of a signing bonus or a milestone achievement. The spreadsheet did not note gender, a category that is often used as a rallying point for pay transparency. The nearly 400 employees who entered their salaries are also just a small subset of Microsoft’s total workforce of 144,000.

Pay transparency is an enduring issue in…

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Dave Gershgorn
OneZero

Senior Writer at OneZero covering surveillance, facial recognition, DIY tech, and artificial intelligence. Previously: Qz, PopSci, and NYTimes.