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Hiring bonus: we’ll buy your house

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Homebuyers who are worried they will lose their job after taking on a hefty mortgage can take out insurance policies that will cover their payments for a time if they become unemployed.But what's an executive who lands a high-paying job that forces him to relocate to do if he can't sell his house for what he bought it for?Microsoft Corp. doesn't want such concerns standing in the way of its executive recruiting, revealing in a proxy statement that the company spent more than $7 million to help three executives relocate. Those figures include expenses companies routinely incur in helping new hires move, such as travel and moving expenses.But Microsoft also promised Stephen Elop, the new head of the company's Microsoft's business division, that it would buy his house from him at its appraised value.If the appraised value came up short of what Elop paid for the home, plus the value of improvements he'd made to it, Microsoft said it would make up the difference. As it turned out, "the...