Google executive chairman awarded major reward package as recognition of the company’s recent successes
Google has announced a $106 million bonus package for its former CEO and current executive chairman, Eric Schimdt as a reward for the company’s performance during 2013.
Made up of $100 million in restricted stock options and a $6 million cash bonus, the award marks the second time in less than three years that Schmidt, who according to Forbes is the 138th-richest person in the world with a fortune worth $8.3 billion, has received an equity award of that size.
The award was approved on 29 January by Google’s board and revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Schmidt will receive the $100 million award in equity, which vests over a four-year period, beginning in May 2015, today, and will receive the discretionary $6 million bonus, which Google says is in recognition of his contributions to the company’s strong performance in 2013 on 14 February.
Schmidt ceded the Google CEO crown to Google co-founder Larry Page in 2011, after a decade leading the Internet search giant. Following the move, Schmidt’s salary was raised from the nominal $1 a year Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin have earned since 2004 to $1.25 million per annum. He also received a $100 million equity award composed of stock and options, which vest over a four-year period.
His current role as executive chairman sees Schmidt focus primarily on government outreach and deals. He recently admitted in an interview with Bloomberg that he was personally to blame for Google’s failure to anticipate the growing importance of social networks, saying the company should have recognised the social trend much earlier, and promised it was “not a mistake we’re going to make again.”
The search engine giant has enjoyed a rather profitable recent period, with its most recent quarterly financial report revealing its stock price rose 58.4 percent in 2013, breaking the $1,000 mark for the first time, while annual revenue increased 21 percent to $55.5 billion.
The company also announced the sale of the Motorola Mobility smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion (£1.76bn), and continues to purchase other firms such as home thermostat manufacturer Nest (bought for $3.2 billion/£2 billion) and artificial intelligence firm DeepMind (bought for $400 million/£242million).
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