Posted March 4, 2009 9:06 am by with 10 comments

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt used Tuesday’s appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco to bluntly describe the economic climate as “pretty dire” and explain how it will affect the world’s largest search engine.

“It obviously will affect the online advertising market because our systems are so tightly tuned. If customers are buying less, it will eventually be reflected in CPCs [cost per click] and CPMs [cost per thousand impressions],” he said. “We are not immune to this.”

Then Google promptly announced 6-figure bonuses for its top executives!

Jonathan Rosenberg, who oversees Google’s products, received the largest bonus at $1.64 million..
Omid Kordestani, Google’s top sales executive, and Alan Eustace, who oversees the company’s engineers, each got bonuses of $1.38 million…
Google gave a $1.24 million to its chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, for his contributions after joining the company in August…
George Reyes, Google’s CFO before Pichette, received a 2008 bonus of $675,000

While these bonuses were lower compared to 2007, it’s likely little comfort for Google’s investors–who saw their Google stock drop 56% in 2008.

What do you think? Google’s profit rose only 1% this past year, so do these bonuses reflect the hard work put in to achieve this growth, or do you believe Google gave out more than it should have?