Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and chief executive Eric Schmidt have agreed to pay cuts that will see them paid just $1 each in 2005.Schmidt and the two co-presidents of the Internet search company are of course billionaires following the highly successful public flotation of the business last year.
All three sold shares worth hundreds of millions of dollars after the IPO. Having launched at $85, Google’s share price soared to $216, before ebbing to around $190.
They declined salary increases offered by Google’s board. Last year Brin and Page received $43,750 each, down from the $150,000 each they got in 2003; Schmidt’s salary has fallen from $250,000.
Future compensation will be in the form of additional stock, which, a Google SEC filing said, will be the ‘fundamental driver of its pay-for-performance philosophy and achievement of long-term business objectives’.
Brin, Page and Schmidt join an exclusive club. Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously draws the same $1 salary, though substantial share holdings and a Lear Jet are more than enough compensation.
The Google three together own around $16.7bn of stock accorded special voting rights that maintain their control over the company.