SEC filings showed that CEO Sundar Pichai was paid a total of $226 million in 2022, mostly through a $218 million stock award, which he receives every three years.
The topic of Pichai and money has been controversial, dating back to late last year’s company-wide meeting when the CEO was responding to certain perks the company eliminated while dodging employee questions about cutting executive compensation.
Workers criticized Pichai for not taking a pay cut while the company is slashing 12,000 jobs across its operations worldwide.
Adding fuel to the fire, the company’s board also authorized a $70 billion stock buyback, which implies that the company has more than enough cash to cover its operations and investments.
Recent memes on an internal Google employee forum expressed their disappointment and frustration with the senior executive. One referred to “Ruth’s cost savings applied to everyone… except our hardworking VPS and CEO,” explicitly referencing Google CFO Ruth Porat's statement that the company is indeed making “multi-year” cuts to employee services. Another was equally critical: ”$70 billion in buybacks shows we respect external shareholders more than Googlers,” while a third scolded: “Sundar [was] accepting $226 million while laying off 12k Googlers, cutting perks, and destroying morale and culture.”
In 2015, Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, and in 2019, he also became the CEO of Alphabet. Under his leadership, Google has made significant investments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
With a $2 million base salary, Sundar Pichai's reported net worth is over US$1.3 billion.