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Google Awards Huge Equity Windfall to Outgoing CEO Schmidt

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January 24, 2011

Google Awards Huge Equity Windfall to Outgoing CEO Schmidt

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

Google (News - Alert) said today that it has awarded $100 million worth of equity to outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt, who is stepping aside from the top job at the Internet giant but will stay with the company as executive chairman.

In a regulatory filing today, Google said the equity, in the form of stock and stock options, will be granted on Feb. 2, and will vest over four years, said the Associated Press.

The 55-year-old Schmidt is being replaced as Google's CEO by 37-year-old company co-founder Larry Page, who will step into the top job in April. Both men, along with Google's other co-founder, Sergey Brin (News - Alert), have limited their salaries to $1 for the last several years, but all three are Google's controlling shareholders.

Schmidt held about 9.2 million of Google's shares as of Dec. 31, 2010, according to a separate filing from last week. This amounts to about 2.9 percent of Google's outstanding shares and about 9.6 percent of the voting power. He plans to sell about 534,000 Class A shares as part of a pre-arranged trading plan. If he does, he will then hold about 9.1 percent of Google's voting power, the company said.

Schmidt announced he was relinquishing his job as Google CEO recently via a rather sarcastic tweet that read, “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” According to the New York Post, Schmidt is preparing for his “Plan B career” as a television host. He has reportedly filmed a test episode for CNN, according to the Post. Schmidt has been consulting with CNN's “Parker Spitzer” executive producer Liza McGuirk on developing a show featuring himself as host, according to the newspaper.

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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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