It's official: Google approves $100-million award for outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt
Google has officially approved a $100-million equity award for outgoing Chief Executive Eric Schmidt.
In the filing, Google said:
The members of the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee of Google's Board of Directors (LDCC) approved equity awards for Eric Schmidt in the aggregate amount of $100 million on January 21, 2011. Consistent with Google's equity-granting practice, stock options and Google Stock Units (GSUs) will be granted in the ratio of two stock options for each GSU, which will result in a GSU grant value of approximately $55.6 million and an option grant value of approximately $44.4 million.
The equity awards will be granted on February 2, 2011 (the first Wednesday of the month following the date on which the LDCC approved the grant) and will vest over a four-year period.
In order to claim the entire $100-million equity award -- the first such award Google is giving to the man who has served as its CEO over the last decade -- Schmidt will have to remain at Google for at least the next four years.
The award is not only a nice pat on the back for Schmidt, it also gives him a reason not to head off and run any companies that are seeking to knock the Mountain View, Calif., firm off its perch as a Web search and advertising leader and a growing influence in smart-phone operating systems.
Schmidt is moving from CEO to executive chairman on Google's board of directors, allowing company co-founder Larry Page to take over as CEO in April.
However, Schmidt could take non-competing side jobs, such as hosting a TV show, if he desires.
The award adds to Schmidt's holdings in Google, which he is actually looking to lessen this year. In a previous SEC filing, Google disclosed that Schmidt was planning to cash out about 534,000 shares in the company, which could land him more than $300 million.
Schmidt owned 9.2 million shares in Google as of Dec. 31. Google stock closed at $611.08 a share Monday -- down from $626.77 on Thursday, the day Google announced its plan to move Page to the CEO spot. Still, his holdings in Google are worth about $5.8 billion.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Google CEO Eric Schmidt gestures during the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Nov. 15. Credit: Robert Galbraith / Reuters