Google CEO Sundar Pichai gets record US$199m stock grant

Google CEO Sundar Pichai gesturing as he addresses a conference with the Vietnamese IT community in Hanoi, Vietnam on Dec 22, 2015.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai gesturing as he addresses a conference with the Vietnamese IT community in Hanoi, Vietnam on Dec 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Google's Sundar Pichai is poised to become one of the highest-paid executives of a publicly traded company this year after parent Alphabet Inc awarded him restricted stock worth about US$199 million (S$280 million).

Mr Pichai, who is Google's chief executive officer, received 273,328 Class C shares on Feb 3 that will vest in quarterly increments through 2019 if he remains on the job, according to a filing on Friday from Google.

Mr Pichai, the former deputy of Google co-founder Larry Page, was named to run the search engine unit following the reorganization into holding company Alphabet last year. The award is the biggest ever given to a Google executive officer whose equity grants have to be reported in filings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is Mr Pichai's first award since taking over the company's highest-grossing unit.

Alphabet also awarded US$42.8 million in restricted stock to Diane Greene, a co-founder and former CEO of software maker VMware Inc, who's led Google's cloud business since November. Ms Greene received equity worth US$148 million last year after Google acquired tech company Bebop Technologies Inc, which she founded.

Chief financial officer Ruth Porat, who joined from Morgan Stanley last year, received equity worth US$38.3 million that will vest under the same conditions as Mr Pichai's award, a filing shows.

Google typically grants equity awards to executives once every two years, a strategy it has said "encourages executives to take a long-term view of the business."