Google's top executives take home $1 salaries

The three top executives at Google are also the lowest paid employees at the company, and they prefer it that way, according to a company filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The three top executives at Google are also the lowest paid employees at the company, and they prefer it that way, according to a company filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, presidents of technology and products respectively, and chief executive Eric Schmidt, were each paid $1 (50p) salaries for their work at the company last year, the same as they've been paid since 2004, and exactly the sum they will each receive this year.

"Eric, Larry and Sergey voluntarily receive only nominal cash compensation. Their primary compensation continues to come from returns on their ownership stakes in Google. As significant stockholders, their personal wealth is tied directly to sustained stock price appreciation and performance, which provides direct alignment with stockholder interests," the filing says.

The three executives have been offered competitive salaries but each has refused.

But as the filing says, the high price of Google stock has boosted the fortunes of the three executives. Based mainly on their holdings of Google stock, Forbes magazine ranks Brin and Page as tied for 26th place on its most recent list of billionaires, with a net value of $16.6bn (£8.4bn) each, while Schmidt ranked number 116, at $6.2bn (£3.1bn).

Google's stock, which is listed on the US Nasdaq market, ended trading on Wednesday at $471.02 (£238) per share, up 2.3% so far this year and up 454.1% since its initial public offering on August 18, 2004.

The executives also received some other compensation during the year. Brin received the lowest amount of compensation, $1,723 (£873), a bonus that was paid to every Google employee, including Page and Schmidt. On top of that amount, Page collected $33,195 (£16,819) for transportation, logistics and personal security and $3,600 (£1,824) for personal travel using rental vehicles, while Schmidt was allocated $532,755 (£269,928) for personal security, and $22,456 (£11,378) in tax gross-ups paid by Google, the filing says.

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