Google parent company Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) awarded CEO Sundar Pichai restricted stock worth $199 million. With the new RSUs in his pocket, Pichai is poised to become one of the highest-paid executives of a publicly traded company, says a report from Bloomberg.
Record stock grant to Pichai
In a filing on Friday, Alphabet stated that Pichai received 273,328 Class C shares on Feb. 3, which will vest in quarterly increments through 2019, provided he remains at the company. Pichai was the former deputy of Google co-founder Larry Page and was named to run the search engine unit in the corporate restructuring last year.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the award is the highest ever given to a Google executive officer, whose equity grants have to be reported in regulatory filings. This is the biggest award Pichai has received since taking over the highest grossing unit of the company. With this grant, the value of his equity stake in Alphabet has risen to more than $600 million. Pichai has been one of the driving forces behind Gmail and Google and has headed the development side of the Chrome browser and OS.
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Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt hold higher stakes in Google than Pichai. However, this award is among the largest by a U.S. company. In 2011, Tim Cook received a grant worth $376 million from Apple when he succeeded co-founder Steve Jobs.
Alphabet: stock grants encourage employees
Also Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat received equity worth $38.3 million, which will vest under the same conditions as Pichai’s award. Porat joined last year from Morgan Stanley.
Diane Greene, a co-founder and former CEO of software maker VMware, received $42.8 million in restricted stock from Alphabet. Since November, she has been leading Google’s cloud business. The Internet firm acquired Greene’s tech company Bebop Technologies last year, after which it awarded Greene equity worth $148 million.
Typically once every two years, Google grants equity awards to executives. Such a strategy, according to the company, encourages executives to take a long-term view of the business. There has been no comment from Alphabet on the matter.
On Monday, Alphabet shares closed up 0.06% at $704.16. Year to date, the stock is down by over 9%, while in the last year, it is up by almost 32%.