Monday, January 24, 2011

Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt awarded $100 million in equity

As Eric Schmidt prepares to leave the post of Google's CEO in April, handing over the reins to co-founder Larry Page, he's going to do so with a much larger wallet. According to a filing to the SEC on Monday, Google is awarded $100 million worth of equity in stock and stock options to Schmidt.

The filing said the stock and options will be granted on Feb. 2 and will vest over four years. Schmidt hasn't sold any Google stock since 2007, but last week, Google said he was planning to sell more than 500,000 shares over the next year under a preplanned trading program.

Given current Google stock pricing, that sale would amount to about $334 million. According to regulatory information, as of last month, Schmidt held a total of 9.2 million shares of Google stock worth about $5.8 billion.

The award comes after last week's surprise announcement that Schmidt was stepping aside as Google's CEO, moving to the role of "executive chairman," while Page becomes CEO in April and co-found Sergey Brin becomes just that, "Co-Founder."

The company said that Schmidt will focus on "deals, partnerships, government outreach, and become a technology thought leader." This seems to aligns with what Schmidt has been most publicly doing of late, as he has been at many conferences and the late, speaking.

At the same time, Schmidt spoke of his young charges, Tweeting that “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” Those who wondered were reminded that the comment actually says from something Sergey Brin himself said on the Charlie Rose show in 2001, when Schmidt was announced as CEO. When asked, he said that the idea behind Schmidt was “Parental supervision, to be honest,” admitting that Google needed experience at the helm.

Since then, however, it's been said that the trio has been somewhat contentious, making decisions as a triad. Part of the reason put forth for the move was to "speed up decision making" and simplify the management structure.

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