Job-slashing, cost-cutting Alphabet paid CEO Sundar Pichai $226 million last year
Some Google employees have to share desksBy Rob Thubron 8 comments
WTF?! Sundar Pichai received a massive $226 million in total compensation last year in his position as Alphabet's chief executive, making him one of the tech industry's top earners. News that the boss makes more than 800 times the median employee's pay is likely to be a bitter pill to swallow for the 12,000 people Alphabet is laying off.
Alphabet's securities filing on Friday showed that $218 million of Pichai's $226 million compensation in 2022 came in the form of a triennial stock grant. The money also included a $2 million annual salary and $6 million for personal security. That latter figure is undoubtedly high, but it's still less than half the $14 million Meta gives Mark Zuckerberg for his safety.
The filing showed that other top executives at Google and Alphabet received around $22 million to $35 million in annual stock awards last year. When Pichai announced the Alphabet job cuts a few months ago, he said senior executives at the company would receive lower bonuses as part of the cost-cutting measures. The Financial Times writes that the company's most senior executives received $775,000 less in pay for 2022.
Only eight public company chief executives received more compensation than Pichai last year. It's a slap in the face to the 6% of Alphabet's workforce that are being laid off. In Switzerland, Google workers staged a walkout over the layoffs, while those who remained offered to take pay cuts so their colleagues could keep their jobs – Google refused to consider such action. The company's London workers also staged a walkout over the layoffs this month.
What's also surprising about Pichai's massive compensation is that Google has implemented some of the most extreme cost-cutting measures ever seen. In February, a number employees were told they would have to share their desks with someone else, reducing the amount of real estate space the company pays for.
More measures came earlier this month when Google said it was cutting back on employee fitness classes, staplers, tape, café opening times, and even the frequency that it replaces workers' laptops. Maybe Pichai could buy them a few notebooks from his own pocket?