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Google: CEO Sundar Pinchai Received Equity Award Worth $199 Million in Restricted Stocks

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February 9
8:09 AM 2016

Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., had just awarded Google CEO Sundar Pinchai an equity award, with the highest amount a Google executive ever received. The award was given in the form of 273,328 Class C Google stock units, worth $199 million by the time it was given last week.

According to Wall Street Journal, the award vests in a quarterly increase over the next four years, that is until 2019. However, it would only happen as long as Mr. Pichai is still employed by Alphabet. The equity award makes him one of the world's highest-paid executives, with more than $600 million equity stake value in Alphabet. The award was also one of the largest ever granted by a U.S. company.

The equity award is usually granted by Google parent company every two years. However, the award received by Mr. Pichai on Wednesday, February 3, was the largest equity stake ever given to the company's executive officer, at least among other grants that have been publicly filed.

Mr. Pichai was considered worthy of the award, partly because he took responsibility for businesses that accounted for 90 percent of Alphabet's revenue, and consequently also its profit. He also built Google's web browser, Chrome, and ran the Android operating system for years. That makes him one of the top recruiting target for the company's rivals.

Bloomberg reported that this is Mr. Pichai's first award since he was appointed to run the search engine unit last year. He held the position following the company's reorganization with the forming of Alphabet Inc. as the holding and parent company of Google and other companies previously owned by Google. Previously, Mr. Pichai was the deputy of 
Google co-founder Larry Page.

Besides Mr. Pichai, Alphabet also awarded Google's senior vice president for the search engine's cloud business, Diane Greene, a $42.8 million worth of restricted stock. Diane Greene was the co-founder and former CEO of VMware Inc. until 2008. In 2012, she was named to Google's board of directors and received equity award worth $148 million last year. A similar award worth $38.8 million in a form of stocks was also given to Alphabet CFO since May last year, Ruth Porat, as reported by The Verge.

The equity award is the company's strategy to encourage executives to take a long-term view of the business. Google CEO Sundar Pinchai received a huge amount of the award, the biggest amount the company had ever given in the form of restricted stocks worth $199 million.

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