By Yoree Koh
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai is getting an early holiday present: the promise of one of the biggest corporate pay increases in recent history for taking over parent Alphabet Inc., according to a regulatory filing.
Mr. Pichai, who took over as Alphabet CEO this month after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from active management of the internet giant's parent, will get a base pay of $2 million and is also being granted $240 million in stock awards if he meets performance targets, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.
The compensation package is the second largest equity grant for a new CEO in the Russell 3000 in the past decade, according to compensation-data firm Equilar Inc. Only Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has been rewarded more handsomely, when he received equity totaling $376 million in 2011, according to Equilar.
Mr. Pichai, 47 years old, takes over Alphabet at a time when the company is grappling with many regulatory and political threats that have affected the search giant and the wider tech industry. The company is also trying to catch rivals Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the hot area of providing cloud-computing services.
Alphabet has become one of the world's most valuable public companies. Its more than $933 billion market cap puts it ahead of online retail giant Amazon.com Inc., though it trails Apple and the No. 2 Microsoft Corp.
Mr. Pichai is no stranger to big pay days. In the three-year period through 2018, he realized $878.3 million in total compensation, according to Equilar. He earned $1.8 million last year running the Alphabet unit that accounts for most of the company's sales and profit.
Still, this is a standout package, even among tech companies. Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks granted Nikesh Arora $124.7 million when he became CEO in 2018, for example, and Satya Nadella, when he took over software giant Microsoft in 2014, was awarded $59.2 million.
This is the first time Alphabet has awarded performance-based stock grants to Mr. Pichai, Equilar said. The company didn't spell out what goals Mr. Pichai must meet to get the full payout.
Even among sitting chief executives, Mr. Pichai's pay package ranks among the largest. It is the fourth largest grant to a CEO at any point in their tenure for executives running a Russell 3000 company during the past decade, said Equilar. The largest of those compensation packages -- valued at $2.2 billion -- went to Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, Equilar said.
Write to Yoree Koh at email@example.com
Corrections & Amplifications Alphabet has a market cap of more than $933 billion. An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the figure as $933 million.