Google boss becomes highest-paid in US
The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, has been awarded US$199 million in shares, a regulatory filing has revealed.
It makes him the highest-paid chief executive in the United States.
Pichai became chief executive of the search engine giant following the creation of its parent, Alphabet.
The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have amassed fortunes of US$34,6 billion and US$33,9bn, according to Forbes.
Pichai was awarded 273,328 Alphabet shares on February 3, worth a total of US$199m, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The new award of shares takes Pichai’s total stock value to approximately US$650m.
Pichai’s share award will vest incrementally each quarter until 2019. In other words, full control over the shares will pass to him on a gradual basis.
It comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Google’s tax affairs, following the company’s deal with HM Revenue & Customs to pay back taxes dating from 2005.
The controversial tax deal was labelled derisory by Labour. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell called for greater transparency, saying it looked like a “sweetheart deal”.
“HMRC seems to have settled for a relatively small amount in comparison with the overall profits that are made by the company in this country. And some of the independent analysts have argued that it should be at least 10 times this amount,” he said.
Critics say Google generated sales of US$34,6bn in the UK between 2005 and 2014, with an estimated profit of about £7.2bn each year on those sales.
Last week, Alphabet — Google’s parent company — surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable firm after it reported a profit of US$4,9bn in the three months to the end of December, an increase from US$4,7bn a year ago.
On an annual basis, Alphabet made US$16,3bn, but the figures showed that the “Other Bets” business lost US$3,6bn during the period, while Google’s operating income rose to US$23,4bn, as online advertising increased.
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