Microsoft: Leave Us, But Don’t Mock Us

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced CFO Peter Klein’s departure along with its latest earnings report. While this notice did not draw a great deal of attention, the newly released terms of his exit have raised eyebrows throughout the industry. In effect, Microsoft’s chief financial officer will earn $2 million if he does not work for a competitor (for the following year) and does not air any dirty laundry about the company (ever).

In a filing with the SEC, the details of Klein’s departure were made public for the first time, and there is plenty on the line. Klein will receive $1 million in January 2014 and another $1 million the following June. According to the NDA submitted to the SEC, Klein agrees “not to disparage or to induce or encourage others to disparage Microsoft or its officers or directors.” Considering he spent 11 years with Microsoft, there is a distinct possibility that he would have a few things to say about his run.

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However, in order to receive that $1 million, Klein will have to toe the party line. He will not be able to write blogs, guest post on any site, visit talk shows, publish in newspapers, or tally any book deals “except with the approval of Lisa Brummel,” Microsoft’s Chief People Officer. The company’s earnings report showed strong numbers for the first quarter of  2013, giving Klein positive news on his way out…

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