Google’s Sundar Pichai handed $100M pay package in 2015

Richard Waters
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
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Sundar Pichai, head of , was handed a pay package valued at $100.5m early last year, even before he was elevated to become chief executive of the world's biggest internet business, according to figures released on Wednesday.

Google had already revealed a restricted stock award that would make Mr Pichai's 2016 package worth around twice as much as his 2015 total, potentially putting him at the top of the league table of highest-paid US chief executives.

The Indian-born engineer took over as chief executive of Google last October, when the internet company recast itself as the tech holding company Alphabet and split its different businesses into freestanding units.

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The 2015 pay award was "in recognition of his performance and increased responsibilities as the leader of all Google's technical product areas," the company said in this week's filing. Mr Pichai had risen in late 2014 to become the company's most powerful engineer.

Google aims to give large stock awards to its senior executives once every two years, rather than annually. However, Mr Pichai received another big stock grant early this year that the company valued at $209m in its latest filing, though it was worth $199m based on the share price at the time.

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Google said that its board-level compensation committee "views Sundar's retention as critical to Google's success, as demonstrated by his promotion to CEO in October 2015, and believes that this level of compensation is representative of his value and the opportunities available to him outside of Alphabet".

Almost all of Mr Pichai's pay is in the form of restricted stock, with the latest award vesting over a period of four years.