Sundar Pichai, who took over the lead role at Google following the creation of its parent company, Alphabet, has become the highest-paid chief executive in the US. This is on the basis of a stock package awarded to him, which a regulatory filing has revealed is worth $199m (£137.8m, €178m).
According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Pichai was awarded 273,328 Class C Alphabet shares on 3 February. While full control on these shares will be given to Pichai on a gradual basis, increasing every quarter until 2019, his total stock holding in the group including this newly issued stock award, stands at $650m.
This news follows Italy demanding that Google pay back over €227m in taxes, dating from 2005, post the settlement with the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
According to Labour, the tax that Google has agreed to pay as part of the deal with the HMRC is ridiculously small. Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell termed it as a "sweetheart deal" and asked for greater transparency. "HMRC seems to have settled for a relatively small amount in comparison with the overall profits that are made by the company in this country. And some of the independent analysts have argued that it should be at least 10 times this amount," McDonnell said.
According to critics, the California headquartered company reaped revenues of £24bn in the UK during the 2005-2014 period when it made an estimated profit of about £7.2bn every year.
While the share award given to Pichai is more than what Google has agreed to pay the UK government in taxes, it is still lesser than the wealth amassed by the company's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who according to Forbes, are worth $34.6bn and $33.9bn respectively.
Last week, Alphabet reported a profit of $4.9bn for the quarter ending 31 December, helping it surpass Apple as the most valuable company in the world.