Google Said to Grant $100 Million in Equity to Schmidt

Google Inc. is granting an equity award package of $100 million to Eric Schmidt, who will be succeeded as chief executive officer by co-founder Larry Page in April, according to a person familiar with the matter.

This is the first equity award for Schmidt since he joined the company as board chairman in 2001, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the grant hasn’t been made public. The award includes stock units and options on shares that will vest over four years, the person said.

Schmidt is becoming the executive chairman of Google in April to focus on external matters, including deals, partnerships, customers and government outreach, he said in a blog post yesterday. Schmidt will leave his post after helping the company grow to $29.3 billion in revenue last year from less than $100 million the year he arrived.

Poornima Gupta, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment.

Last year, Google granted Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer, and Nikesh Arora, head of global sales, $20 million in equity awards apiece, according to a November regulatory filing. Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, got a $10 million equity award, while Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of product management, received a $5 million award.

Google said in a filing yesterday that Schmidt filed to sell about 5.8 percent of his stock in the company, valued at about $326.7 million based on today’s closing share price. He owned about 9.2 million Google shares as of Dec. 31, and the plan would let him sell about 534,000, according to the filing.

"The pre-arranged trading plan was adopted in order to allow Eric to sell a portion of his Google stock as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity," the company said in the filing.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, fell $14.94 to $611.83 as of 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares dropped 4.2 percent last year.

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