Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s total compensation of $226 million in 2022 has drawn criticism as Google parent, Alphabet, initiated sweeping layoffs and cut employee perks. The earnings were revealed through a company securities filing, with more than $218 million coming in stock awards, $2 million in base salary, and nearly $6 million in other compensation.
This staggering sum, over 800 times the median employee’s pay, has sparked outrage among employees who have protested against cost-cutting measures.
Alphabet’s latest filings revealed that Pichai’s pay plan awards him with major stock awards every three years, and this is the third time he has received a $200 million-plus payout since becoming the top executive. Alphabet has noted that the stock bonus caused the pay disparity between Pichai and the company’s median employees, which stood at a ratio of 27-to-1 in 2020.
The massive payday for Pichai and other top executives, who received large sums, came as Alphabet underwent a companywide belt-tightening effort to refocus its business on advanced artificial intelligence technology. The company’s shares have dropped 14% over the past year during an ongoing downturn in the tech sector.
While Pichai’s earnings may seem staggering, it is essential to note that it is part of a pay plan that has been in place for several years.
Nevertheless, the massive payout during a belt-tightening effort has sparked outrage among Google employees who feel that upper management has mishandled the situation. The company needs to find a balance between compensating executives and keeping employees satisfied.