Richest man takes a pay cut

THE RICHEST man in the world suffered a pay cut this year. Bill Gates, chief executive of Microsoft, is also only the second-highest paid official in the company.

Mr Gates was paid a package worth $542,297 (pounds 325,000) this year, slightly lower than the $591,352 he was paid in 1997, according to Microsoft accounts filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, Mr Gates's net worth is approximately 100,000 times as big as his pay. Forbes magazine estimates that his 20.8 per cent stake in Microsoft, consisting of 515,777,800 shares, is worth around $51bn, making the 42- year-old comfortably the world's richest man.

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