Sundar Pichai gets ₹1,721 crore pay package on becoming Alphabet CEO

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been granted a ₹1,707 crore ($240 million) stock package alongside a ₹14 crore ($2 million) annual salary effective 2020, as part of his recent elevation to the role of Alphabet CEO, filings revealed.

21st December 2019 | 12:53 PM (IST)
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Sundar Pichai is getting a hefty pay raise. The new Alphabet Inc. chief executive officer will receive $240 million in stock awards over the next three years if he hits all of his performance targets, as well as a $2 million annual salary beginning in 2020, the firm said Friday in a filing.

If Alphabet shares outperform the S&P 100 Index, Pichai could receive an additional $90 million in stock grants. It’s the first time the company has bestowed performance-based stock awards.

Pichai, 47, was named to the top job this month after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down as leaders of the Mountain View, California-based firm.

Pichai is no stranger to massive compensation. The engineer received about $200 million in stock awards in 2016, which have since vested. Last year, he turned down a grant of restricted stock because he said he felt he was already paid generously, according to a person familiar with the decision.

His total compensation for 2018 was $1.9 million, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.

Internal Crackdowns

At a staff meeting this year, one Google worker asked why Pichai had been paid so much while some employees struggle to afford to live in Silicon Valley, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Tensions between workers and management have intensified lately after internal protests sparked a crackdown.

Pichai, who grew up in India, has degrees from Stanford University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Google in 2004 after a stint at McKinsey & Co. and quickly took on responsibility for some of its most popular products, including Gmail, the Chrome browser and the Android operating system.

When Page and Brin created the Alphabet holding company in 2015, they chose Pichai to run the core money-making businesses as Google CEO. Over the years, Pichai has taken on more duties and it was he who answered questions at a congressional hearing about the political slants of his staff, the firm’s algorithms and Chinese censorship and surveillance, among other things.

On Dec. 3, Pichai replaced Page as CEO and Brin stepped down as president.

Brin and Page, both 46, each own about 6% of the internet-search giant and control Alphabet through special voting shares. Pichai isn’t receiving any such shares as part of his compensation package, according to the filing.

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21st December 2019 | 12:53 PM (IST)
272 views
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