One thing Google ( GOOG) shareholders can't complain about is runaway executive pay. Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt are each taking $1 in salary this year, the same as last year, according to the company's proxy statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Due to our continued strong performance, the leadership by Eric, Sergey and Larry throughout the year, and below-market cash compensation levels, the (Compensation) Committee determined that an increase in cash compensation opportunities was merited, and we offered Eric, Sergey and Larry an increase in salary and bonus for 2006," the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said. "Due to their own preferences not to receive salary and bonus compensation at this time, Eric, Sergey and Larry rejected the offers and continue to receive salaries of $1." The filing also details how Schmidt, Brin and Page received other compensation ranging from $24,741 to $41,999 for company aircraft use, and bonuses ranging from $1,630 to $1,723. Google also paid $3 in insurance premiums for each exec, according to the filing. Shares of Google more than doubled last year as investors bet that the company would gain from the soaring demand for Internet search. The company's star isn't shining as bright this year following disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and concerns over click fraud and slowing growth. Though the stock has recently benefited from Google's inclusion in the S&P 500, the shares are still are down 6% for the year. Friday they rose $1.56 to $390. To be sure, Brin, Page and Schmidt don't need the money. Forbes estimates that Brin and Page each have a net worth of $11 billion. Schmidt has netted almost $1 billion from selling Google shares over the past 18 months, according to InsiderScore.
Google, which earlier this week announced plans to sell 5.3 million shares to feed the index funds buying the stock as a result of the company's addition to the S&P 500, is asking shareholders to approve an increase in the number of shares it is authorized to issue for underlying employee stock options. Google wants to increase the number of shares to 17.9 million from 13.4 million. The company's annual meeting is scheduled for May 11 at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.