Google laid off employees in large numbers but did not compromise on the salary of its CEO Sundar Pichai. As per the latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Pichai’s exorbitant pay package also included stock awards of about $218 million.Notably, only a couple of months ago, Google laid off close to 12,000 employees as a cost-cutting measure.
As per the SEC filing, the amount that was paid to Pichai was largely due to a triennial stock award valued at $218 million. In comparison, Pichai's pay was $6.3 million in the prior year, when he did not receive the stock award. However, his salary has remained the same at $2 million for the past three years.
Pichai's pay package is much higher than other executives at Alphabet in 2022. For instance, Philipp Schindler, the Chief Business Officer, and Prabhakar Raghavan, the Senior Vice President of Google's Knowledge and Information, both received about $37 million. Ruth Porat, the Chief Financial Officer, received $24.5 million, and their stock grants are awarded annually, the filings revealed.
CEO compensation has become a topic of discussion in the tech industry, particularly after a wave of layoffs at Alphabet and other major companies. In January, Alphabet began to cut about 12,000 jobs, which is 6 per cent of its global workforce, after months of spending cuts and the setting of new priorities.
Additionally, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, reduced his 2023 pay after receiving criticism for receiving $100 million each year for the previous two years.
Despite the increase in Pichai's pay package, his salary has remained consistent over the past three years. The $218 million stock award is based on the performance of Alphabet's stock over a three-year period. Pichai is responsible for overlooking Google's vast array of products, including Google Search, YouTube, and Android, as well as Alphabet's other businesses, such as Waymo and Verily.
Pichai in a letter to its employees in January had said, “We’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles. We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.
This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I’m deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.