Google is an enormous company by most standards, but it now has one more notch under its belt: the US’ best-paid CEO. A company SEC filing has revealed that Sundar Pichai received the equivalent of $199 million in stock earlier in February, giving him a total $650 million stake in Alphabet. He won’t get to cash that in all at once (the shares vest in quarterly phases through 2019), but that’s a lot of money for three years’ work. In comparison, Apple’s Tim Cook got “just” $376.2 million when he assumed the CEO role.
Pichai isn’t the wealthiest person in Alphabet. As the Guardian explains, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both worth about $34 billion; ex-CEO Eric Schmidt has about $3 billion in stock. However, the avalanche of shares says a lot about Alphabet’s determination to keep Pichai around for the long term. It really doesn’t want to lose the executive that has taken Android, Chrome and web search to new heights, especially not when rivals like Facebook could afford to poach him. Unless Pichai has a sudden change of heart, he’ll have plenty of incentives to stick around for a long, long while.