Posted March 25, 2009 8:07 pm by with 7 comments

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AIG bonuses are paid with taxpayer money from government bailout funds. Much is “recovered” but the one-dollardamage has been done for the image of big business. Questions are raised about Merrill Lynch bonuses and pay while the embattled investment giant crumbles before the world’s eyes. Needless to say big business and executive pay get a lot of attention these days.

Tired of the bad news? How about a little corporate restraint and responsibility for a change? While not in the investment business Google still deals with a lot of money. In fine American fashion you would expect that the rich simply get richer but at Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt aren’t like most corporate gluttons. As reported in the Courier Mail from Down Under, a proxy statement filed with the SEC shows the three are taking just $1 each per year as their compensation.

Sure these guys aren’t going broke for sure.

Mr Page owns about 29.2 million shares of Google stock while Brin holds 28.6 million shares, making them the firm’s biggest stock holders and giving the duo controlling interest, according to the filing.

Coming in a distant third is that pauper, Schmidt, with a meager 9.4 million shares. How’s a guy to create a legacy on this mere pittance?

I realize that we don’t need to go overboard and make these gentlemen seem like saints but you have to hand it to them for not taking $1 million per year for their troubles and some spending cash. These guys may actually realize that their wealth is so astronomical compared to 99.999% of the rest of the planet and they probably can’t spend even a portion of their wealth in their lifetime. Do you suspect that they actually get that getting another several million per year won’t make any difference to them but could make a difference to the company and its employees? Wow, now that would be different.

Now for those of you that would like to check up on this, Mr. Schmidt was compensated about $720,000 last year but that related to some travel and security costs. His salary however was just $1. In this day and age where greed is at unprecedented levels and acting irresponsibly regarding money this is rule rather than the exception it’s kind of nice to see these kinds of things can still happen.

One last note, Google closed at $344 per share today. How will they make it?!

  • PN

    The real kicker is that they get the PR boost from the $1 salary while they pay only capital gains taxes on the stock they sell. The same game is also played by Steve Jobs and co.

  • Not really newsworthy really when all three are billionaires many times over.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Yup I Am Engaged!

  • @Jaan – I guess you made my point because we are so jaded and seemed repelled by others success that even when they try to make a gesture that shows they know they have more money than they can spend – which was in the post as well – we don’t want to give them any credit. America is tough on people who do well in the system that we work in!

    Frank Reed’s last blog post..Is Your Business Boring You?

  • While I agree with the fact that his $1 salary gets PR for Google, I also can’t help but think that at least it’s a positive thing that’s getting the PR. If more companies followed that model, employees of those companies would be a lot better off. Although I guess if more companies did that, it wouldn’t be newsworthy…

  • Jaded and repelled? Hardly. The fact is their stock options are pay enough and allow them to be wealthy enough to NOT require a salary. Why would they want to cost the company more money for no reason? That would make no sense?

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Back To Work and Happy About It?

  • The fact is many Americans everyday reinvest what they should be paying themselves back into the company for the better good or future profits. I dont see anyone waving flags for them or blogging about their struggles.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Back To Work and Happy About It?

  • AIG, what a joke!