Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s pay soars over $200 million in 2022 amid cost-cutting

Bloomberg |
Apr 22, 2023 07:00 AM IST

The stock award portion of his pay amounted to $218 million, according to a filing from the Google parent company Friday

The pay package awarded to Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai soared to $226 million in 2022, boosted by a triennial stock grant, making him one of the world’s highest-paid corporate leaders.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc.

The stock award portion of his pay amounted to $218 million, according to a filing from the Google parent company Friday. He received a total of $6.3 million in compensation in 2021, when he didn’t receive the grant, and his salary has remained steady at $2 million the past three years.

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The 50-year-old CEO has been navigating a more competitive industry, with AI products such as the chatbot ChatGPT from startup OpenAI threatening to undermine Google’s dominance in search. A broader tech slowdown also has taken a toll on the company, with its shares sliding 39% in 2022. Still, they’ve mounted a comeback in 2023, rising 19%.

Pichai’s stock award comes on a three-year schedule, and he received a similarly sized package in 2019. That year, the executive was awarded $281 million.

CEO compensation has become a particular touchy topic in the technology industry — especially after a wave of layoffs at Alphabet and other major companies. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook slashed his 2023 pay after drawing ire for making $100 million each of the past two years.

Pichai’s package put him well above other executives at Alphabet in 2022. Prabhakar Raghavan, the senior vice president of Google’s knowledge and information, and Philipp Schindler, chief business officer, both took in about $37 million. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat’s compensation was $24.5 million. Their stock grants are given out on an annual basis.

In January, Alphabet started cutting about 12,000 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, following months of other measures to reduce spending and set new priorities. The median total compensation for Alphabet employees was $279,802 in 2022, according to the filing. Pichai’s compensation was 808 times that amount.

As part of his compensation package, Alphabet spent $5.94 million on personal security for Pichai, according to the filing.

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