Google chairman Eric Schmidt gets $100M US stock package
Google also to change search display to settle anti-trust case in Europe
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be awarded $100 million US in restricted stock units, the company said in a securities filing Tuesday, the second time in less than three years that he has been given a stock package of that size.
In addition, Schmidt, who was chief executive officer of Google for a decade before stepping down in 2011, will collect $6 million as a bonus, "in recognition of his contributions to Google's performance in fiscal year 2013."
The $100 million in equity vests over a four-year period, beginning in May 2015, Google said.
Schmidt received $100 million in equity in 2011 after he stepped down as CEO and assumed the chairman role. His salary for the job was set at $1.25 million.
Founder Larry Page took over from Schmidt as CEO. Last week, Google announced a stock split that will bring down the price of its shares but could benefit Page and fellow founder Sergey Brin.
Google continues to show strong revenue growth, posting a 17 per cent increase to $16.9 billion in 2013, despite concerns about the slow pace of its shift to mobile.
The company's shares have risen about 61 per cent since the beginning of 2013, a recognition of its status as the world's dominant search engine.
Google settles anti-trust case
Earlier Wednesday, Google pledged to make significant changes in the way it operates in Europe in order to put to rest a protracted anti-trust case brought against the company by a lobby group that objected to the way Google's search engine displays information about the company's rivals.
Google had been accused of giving favourable treatment to its own products in search results.
The three-year antitrust probe by the European Commission's competition division could have resulted in a $5 billion fine, but Google’s concessions will help it avoid a penalty.
Competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said he's "strongly convinced" the U.S. company's proposals — its third attempt to address the competition concerns — are sufficient.
"This is an important step forward," he told reporters in Brussels.
Under its latest proposal, Google will commit to displaying results from competitors in a similar way to its own whenever it promotes its specialized search services like Google shopping, restaurant or hotel searches. It will also label more clearly search results stemming from its own services to allow users to distinguish between natural search results and those promoted by Google.