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Friday, September 22, 2023

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Google's $100 Million Gift To Outgoing CEO: Unusual

On Friday Bloomberg reported that outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt (now “executive chairman”) was receiving a “$100 million equity award” from Google. According to executive compensation experts quoted by the Wall Street Journal it’s “unusual” for a sitting CEO to receive such a big award. However is a larger version of equity awards given to other Google executives in the past.

According to the Bloomberg article:

Last year, Google granted Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer, and Nikesh Arora, head of global sales, $20 million in equity awards apiece, according to a November regulatory filing. Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, got a $10 million equity award, while Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of product management, received a $5 million award.

Last Thursday, the same day that Google announced the transition from Schmidt to co-founder Larry Page, an SEC filing revealed that Schmidt was selling more than $300 million worth of his Google shares as part of a preestablished trading plan [and] . . . long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity.”

Since the surprising announcement last week the pundit consensus is that, by appointing Page the new CEO, Google is seeking to cut through bureaucracy, become more “nimble” and regain some of its startup “mojo.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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