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Google's Schmidt Gets $101M Pay Package

By Michael Liedtke

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shifting from Google's (GOOG) CEO to executive chairman proved to be lucrative career move for Eric Schmidt.

Google Inc. awarded Schmidt a compensation package valued at $101 million last year, according to a Friday regulatory filing. The amount is 322 times higher than the $313,219 package that Schmidt received in 2010 during his final full year as the Internet search leader's CEO.

Schmidt, 56, ended a decade-long stint as Google's CEO last April and turned over the job to Google co-founder Larry Page.

Shortly before the change in command, Google gave Schmidt stock and stock options valued at nearly $94 million, according to the company's proxy statement. Google had designed the stock and stock option package to be worth $100 million, but the compensation formula spelled out by securities regulators arrived at a slightly different calculation.

To top it off, Google raised Schmidt's salary from $1 annually as CEO to $1.25 million as executive chairman. His 2011 salary ended up being $937,500 because he spent the first three months of the year in the lower-paying job as CEO.

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The rest of Schmidt's 2011 compensation consisted of a $6 million bonus and perks worth nearly $264,000. Schmidt deposited half of his bonus last year in a company plan that can defer payment for up to five years.

Page's compensation package totaled $1 last year, consisting solely of a nominal salary. He has maintained a $1 salary since 2005, although in some years he has accepted Google's companywide holiday bonus. That's what happened in 2010 when Page's pay package totaled $1,723.

Weekly paychecks, annual bonuses and stock options haven't been essential to Schmidt or Page since Google's initial public offering of stock in August 2004. That IPO turned them, along with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, into multibillionaires who are perennials on Forbes' list of the world's richest people.

Forbes' latest rankings estimate Page, 39, and Brin, 38, are each worth nearly $19 billion. The magazine pegs Schmidt's wealth at nearly $7 billion.

Like Page, Brin limited his pay package last year to $1.

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