Wall Street executives feeling harassed by taxpayers outraged at their pay might take note of how Google's ruling triumvirate fared in 2008: $1 in salary each, no bonus, no stock grants, and no stock options.
Google has offered co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt "market-competitive" salaries every year since 2005, but once again in 2008, the three turned it down, according to a company regulatory filing Tuesday. "Due to their own preferences not to receive salary compensation, Eric, Larry, and Sergey each rejected these offers and continue to receive base salaries of $1," the company said.
Also in 2008, the company decided that the stock-based compensation it had awarded to top executives in 2007 was "sufficient to help us meet our retention and business objectives through 2008," so no new stock compensation was awarded to them except in the case of new Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette, who was set to receive compensation worth more than $2 million along with thousands of shares and stock options in his first year.
Schmidt received perks totaling $508,764 in 2008, up from $480,561 the year before. That covered $402,562 in personal security costs and $106,201 Google paid to fly his family members and friends on paid chartered flights.
Of course, Page, Brin, and Schmidt are certainly not paupers. The 29,148,614 shares of Google's Class B common stock Page held at the end of 2008 are worth $10.1 billion at Tuesday's closing price of $347.17; Brin's 28,611,862 shares are worth $9.9 billion, and Schmidt's 9,372,740 shares are worth $3.3 billion.