The $550,000 award was detailed in a securities filing Thursday. It's tiny compared with Ballmer's $11.3 billion fortune in Microsoft stock but shows board dissatisfaction. Ballmer said in August that he'd step down within 12 months.
Ballmer has long requested relatively low pay for the CEO of a major U.S. company. His wealth is already tied to Microsoft's fortunes.
His totall pay was valued at nearly $1.3 million, down 4 per cent from the year before.
The Associated Press' calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to an executive during the year.