“Outgoing” Google CEO Schmidt to get $100mn equity award

google-signUpdate: Schmidt’s new post at Google could be short lived, as he is reportedly seeking a career in television, according to a report from the New York Post, which says he is in negotiations with CNN executive producer Liza McGurk on developing a show featuring himself.

The world’s largest online search engine, Google Inc., has announced plans to replace the current company chief executive officer, Eric Schmidt, with Google co-founder Larry Page, effective April 4, 2011.

Eric Schmidt has served as the chief executive at Google since August 2001.

As part of a reward package to Schmidt, Google confirmed it would give him a $100-million equity bonus over a four-year period.

The hefty award consist of a mix of equity from the pledge of Google stock, and stock options; the exact composition was not publically disclosed.

Although Schmidt is leaving his post as CEO, he will continue to work at the company as the new executive chairman, which raises question to the hefty compensation award.

This is Schmidt’s first equity award package to be given to him by the company.

Schmidt said in a written statement that the reasoning behind the top-level transition is to simplify management structure in a bid to speed up decision-making as the company has become more complicated. He went on to say that, “we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us [himself, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin]”

Although Schmidt only received a $1 salary in 2010, it is unclear if that base salary will change at his new post. Schmidt will still have a number of corporate perks, including access to corporate jets, personal security, among other perks.

According to SEC filings, Schmidt last week arranged to sell 6-percent of his 9.2-million Class A Google shares in 2011 as part of his personal portfolio strategy. The SEC filing confirms the price per share is the closing stock price as at Thursday, January 20, 2011, which was $626.77 per share. When Schmidt took the role of CEO in 2001, Google shares were trading well below $100 per share.

Prior to the announced sale of his current holdings, Schmidt held 2.9-percent of outstanding Google stock, which equated to 9.6-percent of total voting rights.

We firstly reported that Google approved hefty compensation raises for top-level executives, including a 10-percent worldwide pay increase for all employees at the company effective January 2011.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page already pledged (SEC filing) to sell their Common B Google shares that will eventually cause them to lose their controlling voting power at the firm.

Google just reported forth quarter and full-year 2010 earnings, reporting $2.54-billion in net income for Q4 2010, and $8.5-billion in net income for fiscal 2010 on $29.32-billion in total gross revenue for the full-year.

The Q4 and full-year earnings surpassed Wall Street analyst expectations.


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Peggy holds a Bachelor Arts degree with honors in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has also passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. She is also a realtor. Write to peggy@business2press.com
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