Google chief executive Larry Page, pictured, has capped salary at $US1 since the company went public. Photo: Reuters
Google chief executive Larry Page and his longtime partner Sergey Brin limited their salaries to $US1 apiece last year, while four other top executives received combined compensation packages totalling more than $US124 million ($121.34 million).
The breakdown, disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, consisted mostly of stock awards that could ultimately be worth more or less money, depending on how Google's stock price fares in the future.
Google Inc also paid all four of the executives besides Page and Brin their maximum bonuses to reward them for their accomplishments during a year that saw the internet search leader's stock price and earnings rise by 10 per cent from 2011.
Page and Brin, who co-founded Google in 1998, have capped their salaries to $US1 since the company went public in 2004.
It's a symbolic gesture that other top Silicon Valley executives such as Apple Inc's late CEO Steve Jobs, and Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang have made after amassing fortunes through the stock that they held in their respective companies.
Page, 40, and Brin, 39, are Google's two biggest stockholders, with stakes that are each currently worth about $US20 billion ($19.57 billion).
Meanwhile, other Google executives are still looking to build their fortunes.
Last year's biggest windfall went to Nikesh Arora, who oversees the advertising sales that generated most of Google's $US50 billion in revenue last year.
Arora's compensation package was valued at $US46.7 million, including $US10.8 million cash bonus to supplement his $US650,000 salary. The bonus included an $US8 million discretionary payment that was boosted by a decision to cancel some of Arora's stock awards in exchange for $US4.7 million in cash, according to the Google proxy statement inviting shareholders to the company's June 6 annual meeting at its Mountain View, California, headquarters.
Arora's pay last year more than doubled from $US23.2 million in 2011.
Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, and David Drummond, the company's top lawyer, both received hefty raises, too. Pichette's compensation package was valued at $US38.7 million, more than doubling from $US18.3 million in the previous year. Drummond's pay climbed 71 per cent to $US31.3 million last year.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's compensation plunged last year after the company gave him stock valued at nearly $US94 million in 2011 in appreciation of his decade-long stint as chief executive.
When Page took over as CEO two years ago, Schmidt accepted the company's offer to raise his salary from $US1 to $US1.25 million. Including a $US6 million bonus and other perquisites, Schmidt's compensation last year was valued at $US7.6 million. That was a 92 per cent decline from his $US101 million package in 2011.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.