Google Grants $100 Million Award to Outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt

Google's outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt (now "executive chairman") was receiving a "$100 million equity award" from Google.Poornima Gupta, a spokeswoman for Google, said Saturday that it was the first such award for Mr. Schmidt since he joined the company in 2001. It includes stock and stock options, and vests over four years. She declined to […]

Google's outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt (now "executive chairman") was receiving a "$100 million equity award" from Google.

Poornima Gupta, a spokeswoman for Google, said Saturday that it was the first such award for Mr. Schmidt since he joined the company in 2001. It includes stock and stock options, and vests over four years. She declined to comment further.

Mr. Schmidt's equity award is highly unusual, according to compensation experts and compensation data. Most such equity awards are given to new CEOs rather than sitting CEOs. And Mr. Schmidt's award is the largest in grant-value dollars for a sitting CEO since Motorola Inc. awarded a grant valued at $103 million to its then co-CEO, Sanjay Jha, in August 2008, according to Wall Street Journal research.

"It's probably unprecedented to see that magnitude of an award for someone shifting from CEO to [just] chairman," said Irving S. Becker, head of the U.S. executive-compensation practice for consultants Hay Group.

Other top Google executives have periodically received smaller equity awards.

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.

[tags]equity,compensation[/tags]

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