Google’s chief: small salary, big expenses

March 24, 2009

Protecting Google’s head honcho got more affordable in 2008, but the cost of air travel for CEO Eric Schmidt and his entourage rose sharply.


According to Google’s annual proxy statement, released on Tuesday, Google paid out $106,201 “on Eric’s behalf for costs related to aircraft chartered for Google business on which family and friends flew in 2008.”


That’s a good deal more than the $4,000 Schmidt’s friends and family racked up flying the friendly skies in 2007 or the $22,456 in tax “gross ups” for air travel in 2006.


It’s not clear whether the extra costs related to more frequent globe trotting by Schmidt and his kin, or perhaps reflect the volatile cost of jet fuel, which surged in the first half of 2008, before receding later in the year.


On the other hand, the cost of Schmidt’s cordon sanitaire was only $402,562 in 2008, down from the $474,662 in “personal security” expenses 2007 and $532,755 in 2006.


Neither of the other two Google bigwigs, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had any security or aircraft expenses during 2008.


And all three executives, as in years past, received a base salary of $1.


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I found the article very informative. If two executives of such a large company as google can use there monies so responibly, and not abuse there positions, they are to be commended. Especially in these times where the economy is in the sad shape it’s in. Maybe the AIG company could take some character studies from these two exeutives from google, possibly there company may have done better and not to be disected now before the public’s eye in the news!!

Posted by Margaret | Report as abusive

It may sound commendabe, but salary is taxed in at a higher percentage than the millions they receive in stock options which is only taxed as capital gains. If they received salary in the same dollar amount as that of taxes, than they would be paying 3 to 4 times more in taxes.

Posted by Yoon | Report as abusive

I made a typo in the previous comment….instead of “in the same dollar amount as that of” ‘stocks’, rather than taxes…Sorry.

Posted by Yoon | Report as abusive

I wouldn’t assume the two others are more responsible per se, we don’t know what other expenses they had or what their main salary is, or how much they claimed a few years ago, or if they only stopped to claim in 2008 because they knew it would come under scrutiny…

Posted by Honscho | Report as abusive

Sure. Pay yourself a dollar while you rape the privacy of the world citizens. Bravo. USE

Posted by the truth | Report as abusive

I’m not a tax expert, but I believe options are NOT solely taxed as capital gains. My understanding is that, upon exercise, you incur an amount of “ordinary income” (not capital gains) equal to the difference between the strike price of the option and the market value of stock on the date the option was granted. (Yes, any capital gains AFTER that grant date are taxed as capital gains.)…for what it’s worth.

Posted by notataxexpert | Report as abusive is terrible. Apparently they think highly of Google there, as they point out that they are “Top Ranked” by Google. How ironic.

Posted by Dave Wilson | Report as abusive

Check out to find some real interesting abuses of corporate perks and how they attempt to be hidden in proxy filings.

I personally can’t fault these guys- the majority of their income and net-worth is tied to the longterm performance of the company and its stock price. Racking up $100k of travel is nothing on a timeshare/leased jet. Argue that they don’t need to travel privately, but the fact is that Google is not in line for a government handout, they’ve created long-term wealth for their shareholders and they have the cash to pay for these perks.

In the eyes of the board, they must feel the cost/benefit of having their CEO be able to securely and freely travel vs. waiting in line at the airport dealing with the delays the rest of us put up with, is worth it.

Posted by KM in NYC | Report as abusive cannotand will not return the same sort of search result users have come to expect from Yahoo or Google. Acoona looks and acts more like Alta Vista: fine for 1995 but woefully dated in 2009. And, Acoona links to Yahoo, Microsoft Live, and Google to pump up their own result. Cut out the middleman: go to Live or Yahoo or Google first.

Posted by notAcoonaOhNO | Report as abusive

I find it interesting that we are not discussing Millions of dollars in waste, but a few hundred thousand. Seriously, if you want to get up in arms.. let’s do it over a waste of Millions. Anyone who flies on corporate jets knows that a few hundred thousand dollars is nothing.

Seriously.. I guess I would expect journalists to have alot more “juicy” stories to sink their teeth into than the one I just read.



Posted by LT | Report as abusive

Well, they manage their monies responsibly because they own the company.

Posted by A | Report as abusive

There is a HUGE difference between the Entrepreneurs that start a company such as the two who ironically aren’t spending and the CEO’s who have never taken a chance with their own money or have any real “skin in the game.”

So many CEO’s nowadays are just glorified managers playing with investor’s and retirement money like it’s a game and paying themselves and friends bonuses regardless of how they perform. Take the CEO of Exxon-Mobil, what has he ever had to invest or risk to make his Billions??

Posted by Brandon | Report as abusive

Golly gee beav, it’s really none of our business how much executives spend or make as long as the board of directors approve it.
Hey wait a minute, isn’t this one of the companies that rallies behind Al G(wh)ore and carbon emissions and global warming stuff? Why are they flying around in private jets and polluting my world? Is this global warming stuff for real or do they just make it up to line the pockets of another rich guy Al G(wh)ore? Maybe Al could answer this for us after he gets off HIS private jet and is carted around in his SUVs. Amazing how ignorant the minions on the left have becaome. Have a carbon emitting day (and don’t worry about it)

Posted by Eddie | Report as abusive

G8 it shows not only politicians are expensive in nature but also ceo’s of big firms ……….u understand wat i mean right

Posted by jitendra | Report as abusive