Google CEO gets access to €309m shares award

By Anders Melin

Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai is about to have a very big week.

Tomorrow, an award of 353,939 restricted shares he received before a promotion in 2014 will come good.

The grant is worth about $380m (€309m), making it one of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years.

Mr Pichai, 45, who has led Alphabet’s Google since 2015, received the shares before his promotion to senior vice president of products a year earlier, when he took over many of co-founder Larry Page’s responsibilities. The award swelled in value as Alphabet’s stock surged 90% since the grant date. He has received two more nine-figure stock grants since. The company has yet to disclose Mr Pichai’s compensation for 2017.

In 2016, CEOs of S&P 500 companies realised an average of $16.2m from shares that vested or exercising stock options. Other tech executives have received hefty payouts in the past.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg reaped $2.28bn when he exercised 60m options as part of the company’s initial public offering in August 2012. Months later, restricted shares worth $822m held by his deputy Sheryl Sandberg fully vested.

In 2016, Tesla’s Elon Musk collected $1.34bn after exercising 6.71 million options that were close to expiring, in part to cover a $593m tax bill. That same year, Monster Beverage’s two top executives took in a combined $598m thanks to the stock rising an average of 30% a year for a decade.

- Bloomberg

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