January 24, 2011

Google Gives Departing CEO $100 Million Equity Award

Outgoing Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has received an equity award of $100 million, Bloomberg first reported over the weekend.

A spokesperson told Reuters on Sunday that "the award, which will include stock units and options will vest over four years and is Schmidt's first such award since joining the company in 2001."

According to CNET's Edward Moyer, the Wall Street Journal, "citing compensation specialists and data"¦ called the award 'highly unusual' for a sitting CEO, adding that equity awards like this are usually given to new chief executives."

"The Journal said Schmidt's award, which vests over four years, is the largest in grant-dollars for a sitting CEO since Sanjay Jha, Motorola's then co-chief, received a $103 million grant in 2008," Moyer added.

The news follows the Mountain View, California-based tech giant's Thursday announcement that Schmidt would be stepping down from his position in April. Schmidt will be replaced by Google co-founder Larry Page, and will remain with the company as Executive Chairman.

In a statement released last week, Google said that Page would take charge of the company's day-to-day operations, while Schmidt would be "focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership" in his new role. He will also serve as an advisor to Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin.

"We've been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time," Schmidt said in a statement at the time. "By clarifying our individual roles we'll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I'm excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come."

"Eric has clearly done an outstanding job leading Google for the last decade. The results speak for themselves," Page added. "There is no other CEO in the world that could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly. Eric is a tremendous leader and I have learned innumerable lessons from him. His advice and efforts will be invaluable to me as I start in this new role."


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