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Google Gives Eric Schmidt 'Unprecedented' $100 Million Equity Award

Danny Goodwin
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Outgoing Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt will receive a $100 million equity award from Google, the company has confirmed. The award "includes stock and stock options, and vests over four years," and is the largest for a sitting CEO, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This is in addition to $335 million Schmidt will make by selling 534,000 shares of stock. Schmidt was listed at 117 on Forbes list of the world's richest people and was 48 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America in 2010.

"It is probably unprecedented to see that magnitude of an award for someone shifting from CEO to [just] chairman," Irving S. Becker, head of the U.S. executive-compensation practice for consultants Hay Group, told the WSJ.

As announced last week, Larry Page will replace Schmidt as the company's CEO in April. Schmidt will become Google's executive chairman, focusing on deals, partnerships, customers, and government outreach, and act as an adviser to Page and co-founder Sergey Brin.

Google gave Equity Awards to four executives in November. Patrick Pichette, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Nikesh Arora, president, global sales & business development, received $20 million; Alan Eustace, senior vice president, engineering and research, received $10 million; and Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president, product management, received $5 million, according to an SEC filing.

Update: Schmidt must remain at Google for at least the next four years to claim the entire $100 million award, according to this SEC filing: "The equity awards will be granted on February 2, 2011 (the first Wednesday of the month following the date on which the LDCC approved the grant) and will vest over a four-year period."

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