Alphabet's new chief executive to get $242 million pay package

Sundar Pichai, who heads the company after replacing Google founder Larry Page, will also receive an annual $2m salary

Google parent Alphabet boosted the salary of newly anointed chief Sundar Pichai and promised more than $200 million in shares if the company hits performance goals, a regulatory filing on December 20, 2019 said. AFP
Google parent Alphabet boosted the salary of newly anointed chief Sundar Pichai and promised more than $200 million in shares if the company hits performance goals, a regulatory filing on December 20, 2019 said. AFP

Sundar Pichai is getting a hefty pay raise.

The new Alphabet chief executive will receive $240 million (Dh881m) in stock awards over the next three years if he hits all of his performance targets, as well as a $2m annual salary beginning next year, the company said Friday in a filing.

If Alphabet shares outperform the S&P 100 Index, Mr Pichai could receive an additional $90m in stock grants. It is the first time the company has bestowed performance-based stock awards.

Mr Pichai, 47, was named to the top job this month after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down as leaders of the California company.

The new chief is no stranger to massive compensation. The engineer received about $200m in stock awards in 2016, which have since vested. Last year, he turned down a grant of restricted stock because he said he felt he was already paid generously.

His total compensation for 2018 was $1.9m, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.

At a staff meeting this year, one Google worker asked why Mr Pichai had been paid so much while some employees struggle to afford to live in Silicon Valley. Tensions between workers and management have intensified lately after internal protests sparked a crackdown.

Mr Pichai, who grew up in India, has degrees from Stanford University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Google in 2004 after a stint at McKinsey & Co and quickly took on responsibility for some of its most popular products, including Gmail, the Chrome browser and the Android operating system.

When Mr Page and Mr Brin created the Alphabet holding company in 2015, they chose Mr Pichai to run the core money-making businesses as Google chief executive. Over the years, Mr Pichai has taken on more duties and it was he who answered questions at a congressional hearing about the political slants of his staff, the company’s algorithms and Chinese censorship and surveillance, among other things.

On December 3, Mr Pichai replaced Mr Page as chief executive and Mr Brin stepped down as president.

Google founders, both 46, each own about 6 per cent of the internet-search giant and control Alphabet through special voting shares. Mr Pichai is not receiving any such shares as part of his compensation package, according to the filing.

Updated: December 21, 2019 01:48 PM

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