Google CEO 'Lord Farquaad' lambasted for giant pay raise after 12,000 layoffs

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 33
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,916member
    Wow. The 12,000 workers wouldn’t even take a fraction of that 220+ million to retain for years. 

    I understand that the deal was in place long before the layoffs, but dang. A ceo has to know how to roll with the times and changes. Cook is a great example. Rather than simply profiting, he looks out for the health of the company (I.e, it’s people) and takes a knock himself, knowing he can more than handle it. 

    Contrast that with other tech leaders, gladly stuffing their pockets while the company and its people either around them. 

    On one hand, you have a Cook or jobs who actually cares about the company snd gives of themself to give it life. On the other you have this guy and others like him, sucking the life of the company and it’s people to feed themselves, like vampires. Crazy. 
    radarthekatOferravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 33
    ericesqueericesque Posts: 29member
    Is anyone actually running the numbers or just experiencing sticker shock?  The article says he received $200M in stock options every 3 years. Even if you pretend he can leverage all of that stock and walk away with $200M it is only $66M per year. Divide that out across 12,000. You get $5,500. Great! Nobody sees a dollar in their paycheck and Google still owes about $66M just to cover benefits.
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 23 of 33
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,879moderator
    Lest you forget who are the masters and who are the slaves...


    I guess I could agree with all of that, if he hadn’t then gone against the key points that employee compensation is excessive, with mean and average salaries being too high.  The dude says all this and then takes for himself more than $18,000 of the savings FROM EACH of the 12,000 laid off employees. 

    Look, CEOs get paid 300x the average worker because the decisions and actions they take have an outsized effect on the success or failure of the enterprise.  That’s fair, as long as those decisions and actions are truly in the best long-term interest of the business, which kinda includes the employees who make it go.  

    It may well be in the best interest of Google to downsize as he indicated in his letter.  But when this type of action is necessary, or when belt-tightening of any kind is needed and implemented, you expect that the magnifying effect of CEO compensation would show itself in an accommodation to the adverse effects on the business and its employees.  You get the 300x when your decisions benefit all, and you should take a hit along with everyone when you have to reign the company back in after excesses or when exogenous conditions warrant belt-tightening.   We saw Tim Cook take a pay cut, even though Apple didn’t have a big lay off, but Apple and its employees went through a tough time like many companies did in the last three years.  Cook probably didn’t need to take a cut, but he did.  And he certainly didn’t take a huge raise.   
    edited May 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 33
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,916member
    dewme said:
    Why is anyone surprised to see capitalism in action? When you peel back the ideology and chest-thumping comparisons to other economic system alternatives, remove the sugar coating, and disregard the have-nots and losers ... this is kind of what happens at the raw execution level with capitalism. Fairness? Social considerations? Humanity? Bah humbug. There is no crying in baseball, nor is there any in business.

    Honestly, I say this with a grain of salt because most decent companies do factor in fairness, social concerns, and humanity into their business execution, at least to some degree. The hope is that the boards and shareholders share the same priorities and are comfortable with the actions they take or implicitly approve of when it comes to employees. But their #1 priority, and the one instilled in their leaders and CEO is maintaining the viability and profitability of the business. This is never the same as employee's #1 priority, which is maintaining their career and the financial safety and security of themselves and their families. In most cases there is a reasonable balance and symbiosis between these two concerns, but when push comes to shove, capitalism steps in, and we all know whose priority will determine the outcome, which in Google's case is Lord Farquaad. It's good to be king.
    This isn’t “capitalism.’ It’s mismanagement. You have that in socialism as well. 

    Without capitalism, there would be no Apple, Google, etc. they would never have existed. 

    Sure, there is no perfect system, due to the nature of man. But capitalism is a heck of a lot better than all the other systems that have failed worldwide. 

    In every system, some suffer. Even in capitalism some suffer. Those who worker harder and smarter get more. Some, like the kids of rich people, get a head start. But it’s possible and reachable to make a great life for yourself. 

    In socialism, everyone suffers - except the government leaders who run the scam. And it’s never possible to achieve the dream. 

    I’ll take capitalism every day of the week and twice on sundays. 
    chadbagmr. h
  • Reply 25 of 33
    I think the most damning part of the article is right here:

    Large companies have complex financial systems, so it isn't going to be clear how the money saved from laying off those employees will be used. However, it is damning when a $70 billion stock buyback program was announced in one week, then SEC filings show the CEO got a raise in the next.

    This is the smoking gun right here. A CEO knows that if they do layoffs, stock prices usually rise because the P/E ratio rises; then on top of that, a stock buyback means that Google (read: Sundar) knows that the price per share for that stock will skyrocket because there are fewer shares in the wild. As a result, the number of shares he gets (usually a fixed number of shares, depending on how well their stock is doing) will be worth substantially more.

    In summary, I think the SEC should investigate his ass and see if insider trading laws can be applied to him.

    The stock price doesn’t rise because of a higher P/E ratio — actually the other way around — a higher P/E typically means a stock is overpriced.
  • Reply 26 of 33
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 984member
    Obscene doesn’t even begin to describe it.  So glad I don’t use and aggressively block all Google products, services and tracking.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 33
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,082member
    Lest you forget who are the masters and who are the slaves...


    I guess I could agree with all of that, if he hadn’t then gone against the key points that employee compensation is excessive, with mean and average salaries being too high.  The dude says all this and then takes for himself more than $18,000 of the savings FROM EACH of the 12,000 laid off employees. 

    Look, CEOs get paid 300x the average worker because the decisions and actions they take have an outsized effect on the success or failure of the enterprise.  That’s fair, as long as those decisions and actions are truly in the best long-term interest of the business, which kinda includes the employees who make it go.  

    It may well be in the best interest of Google to downsize as he indicated in his letter.  But when this type of action is necessary, or when belt-tightening of any kind is needed and implemented, you expect that the magnifying effect of CEO compensation would show itself in an accommodation to the adverse effects on the business and its employees.  You get the 300x when your decisions benefit all, and you should take a hit along with everyone when you have to reign the company back in after excesses or when exogenous conditions warrant belt-tightening.   We saw Tim Cook take a pay cut, even though Apple didn’t have a big lay off, but Apple and its employees went through a tough time like many companies did in the last three years.  Cook probably didn’t need to take a cut, but he did.  And he certainly didn’t take a huge raise.   
    There's too many here that are misinformed about Pichai $226M compensation package mainly because of AI not so accurate headline. Pichai may have gotten his compensation package after Google's mass layoffs in 2023, but his $226M compensation package did not include 2023.  

    Pichai $226M compensation was for his 3 years as CEO in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Here are the number of employees for Google during those 3 years.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/GOOG/alphabet/number-of-employees

    You see any mass layoffs for the years this compensation package was based on? If a team of software engineers were awarded a bonus for doing an outstanding job in finishing a project on time, one should not dock any of that bonus because they happen to be screwing up on their next project. Right? 

    And by the way, Cook compensation for 2020, 2021 and 2022 came to about $215M for those three years. (about $16M in 2020, $100M in 2021 and $99M 2022). So far,  Cook took a 40% pay cut for 2023 only. Pichai might also get a pay cut for 2023, though maybe involuntary, (unlike Cook). But we won't find out until 2025, when his compensation package is due for the next 3 years. That's if he's still CEO and under the same contract. 


    If one wants to blame Pichai being over compensated (for the past 3 years) because of Google's employment problems, one should be blaming him for maybe hiring too many employees in the past 3 years, not for laying off employees in 2023. 

    As a long time AAPL investor, I think Cook is well worth the $215M he has gotten in compensation for the past 3 years and was definitely "under paid" in 2020 (at $15M).  And he will be an absolute bargain in 2023 (at $50M).  Even though there were enough AAPL shareholders that approved of Cooks voluntary pay cut for 2023, to have the board approve it (though the shareholders votes were non binding.) This is not to say that Pishai is well worth the $226M in compensation he got for the past 3 years. For sure GOOG stocks has under performed when compared to AAPL. But GOOG investors still had a some-what decent gain for the past 3 years.  

    https://www.netcials.com/stock-comparison-nasdaq/AAPL-GOOG/

    I look at my AAPL investment since Cook took over (in 2012) and I can't complain about his compensation over the years. All I had to do to be greatly compensated for my AAPL shares under Cook leadership, was to not sell AAPL. And yet, there are people that would say that I've been over "compensated" and I should be paying more than the 15% / 20% in long term capital gain tax (Fed), for gains I did not "deserve". (Which BTW, CA taxes all my gains as ordinary income.)  


    BTW- This is also some-what not accurate. The article stated ......... "Pichai's base salary is $2 million, and he gets $6 million in personal security in 2022. That's being contrasted to Apple CEO Tim Cook, which took a 40% pay cut in 2022." ........  Cook did not take a 40% pay cut in 2022. In 2022, he agreed to take a 40% pay cut for 2023. So Cook 40% pay cut in 2023 should not be compared to any compensation Pichai got for 2022. If anything, Cook 2022 $99M in compensation (and $3M in base salary) should have been used for comparison. 
    edited May 2023 muthuk_vanalingamgatorguydewmemr. h
  • Reply 28 of 33
    SkepticalSkeptical Posts: 183member
    I’m cheering on a big meteor or an aerosolized version of Ebola to put an end to this shit show. We are doomed. 
  • Reply 29 of 33
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 938member
    “ after over-hiring during the pandemic‘

    So he’s cleaning up a mess to better the company. His compensation, negotiated I’m sure, is tied to company performance. YEP;

     “  This is mostly due to a $218 million stock award that he receives every 3 years.

    Pichai's base salary is $2 million, and he gets $6 million in personal security in 2022.”

    So he didn’t get a raise, he received a regularly scheduled every three years stock award. 
    edited May 2023 williamlondon
  • Reply 30 of 33
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,082member
    dewme said:
    Why is anyone surprised to see capitalism in action? When you peel back the ideology and chest-thumping comparisons to other economic system alternatives, remove the sugar coating, and disregard the have-nots and losers ... this is kind of what happens at the raw execution level with capitalism. Fairness? Social considerations? Humanity? Bah humbug. There is no crying in baseball, nor is there any in business.

    Honestly, I say this with a grain of salt because most decent companies do factor in fairness, social concerns, and humanity into their business execution, at least to some degree. The hope is that the boards and shareholders share the same priorities and are comfortable with the actions they take or implicitly approve of when it comes to employees. But their #1 priority, and the one instilled in their leaders and CEO is maintaining the viability and profitability of the business. This is never the same as employee's #1 priority, which is maintaining their career and the financial safety and security of themselves and their families. In most cases there is a reasonable balance and symbiosis between these two concerns, but when push comes to shove, capitalism steps in, and we all know whose priority will determine the outcome, which in Google's case is Lord Farquaad. It's good to be king.
    This isn’t “capitalism.’ It’s mismanagement. You have that in socialism as well. 

    Without capitalism, there would be no Apple, Google, etc. they would never have existed. 

    Sure, there is no perfect system, due to the nature of man. But capitalism is a heck of a lot better than all the other systems that have failed worldwide. 

    In every system, some suffer. Even in capitalism some suffer. Those who worker harder and smarter get more. Some, like the kids of rich people, get a head start. But it’s possible and reachable to make a great life for yourself. 

    In socialism, everyone suffers - except the government leaders who run the scam. And it’s never possible to achieve the dream. 

    I’ll take capitalism every day of the week and twice on sundays. 
    Winston Churchill summed it up in much fewer words ......

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 33
    In the past, some CEOs have taken a pay cut in similar situations.  Sometimes to a token $1 salary for the year.  
    Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are examples.  
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-dollar_salary  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,391member
    davidw said:
    Lest you forget who are the masters and who are the slaves...


    I guess I could agree with all of that, if he hadn’t then gone against the key points that employee compensation is excessive, with mean and average salaries being too high.  The dude says all this and then takes for himself more than $18,000 of the savings FROM EACH of the 12,000 laid off employees. 

    Look, CEOs get paid 300x the average worker because the decisions and actions they take have an outsized effect on the success or failure of the enterprise.  That’s fair, as long as those decisions and actions are truly in the best long-term interest of the business, which kinda includes the employees who make it go.  

    It may well be in the best interest of Google to downsize as he indicated in his letter.  But when this type of action is necessary, or when belt-tightening of any kind is needed and implemented, you expect that the magnifying effect of CEO compensation would show itself in an accommodation to the adverse effects on the business and its employees.  You get the 300x when your decisions benefit all, and you should take a hit along with everyone when you have to reign the company back in after excesses or when exogenous conditions warrant belt-tightening.   We saw Tim Cook take a pay cut, even though Apple didn’t have a big lay off, but Apple and its employees went through a tough time like many companies did in the last three years.  Cook probably didn’t need to take a cut, but he did.  And he certainly didn’t take a huge raise.   
    There's too many here that are misinformed about Pichai $226M compensation package mainly because of AI not so accurate headline. Pichai may have gotten his compensation package after Google's mass layoffs in 2023, but his $226M compensation package did not include 2023.  

    Pichai $226M compensation was for his 3 years as CEO in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Here are the number of employees for Google during those 3 years.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/GOOG/alphabet/number-of-employees

    You see any mass layoffs for the years this compensation package was based on? If a team of software engineers were awarded a bonus for doing an outstanding job in finishing a project on time, one should not dock any of that bonus because they happen to be screwing up on their next project. Right? 

    And by the way, Cook compensation for 2020, 2021 and 2022 came to about $215M for those three years. (about $16M in 2020, $100M in 2021 and $99M 2022). So far,  Cook took a 40% pay cut for 2023 only. Pichai might also get a pay cut for 2023, though maybe involuntary, (unlike Cook). But we won't find out until 2025, when his compensation package is due for the next 3 years. That's if he's still CEO and under the same contract. 


    If one wants to blame Pichai being over compensated (for the past 3 years) because of Google's employment problems, one should be blaming him for maybe hiring too many employees in the past 3 years, not for laying off employees in 2023. 

    As a long time AAPL investor, I think Cook is well worth the $215M he has gotten in compensation for the past 3 years and was definitely "under paid" in 2020 (at $15M).  And he will be an absolute bargain in 2023 (at $50M).  Even though there were enough AAPL shareholders that approved of Cooks voluntary pay cut for 2023, to have the board approve it (though the shareholders votes were non binding.) This is not to say that Pishai is well worth the $226M in compensation he got for the past 3 years. For sure GOOG stocks has under performed when compared to AAPL. But GOOG investors still had a some-what decent gain for the past 3 years.  

    https://www.netcials.com/stock-comparison-nasdaq/AAPL-GOOG/

    I look at my AAPL investment since Cook took over (in 2012) and I can't complain about his compensation over the years. All I had to do to be greatly compensated for my AAPL shares under Cook leadership, was to not sell AAPL. And yet, there are people that would say that I've been over "compensated" and I should be paying more than the 15% / 20% in long term capital gain tax (Fed), for gains I did not "deserve". (Which BTW, CA taxes all my gains as ordinary income.)  


    BTW- This is also some-what not accurate. The article stated ......... "Pichai's base salary is $2 million, and he gets $6 million in personal security in 2022. That's being contrasted to Apple CEO Tim Cook, which took a 40% pay cut in 2022." ........  Cook did not take a 40% pay cut in 2022. In 2022, he agreed to take a 40% pay cut for 2023. So Cook 40% pay cut in 2023 should not be compared to any compensation Pichai got for 2022. If anything, Cook 2022 $99M in compensation (and $3M in base salary) should have been used for comparison. 
    Very well-researched and explained. :)

    It would only have been better if you could have posted earlier and saved the thread from a plethora of knee-jerk, "think-of-the-children" comments. 

    BTW, I agree that the industry suffered from a few years of over-hiring, and spending money like drunken sailors. Way past time to realize they could do more with less.
    edited May 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,555member
    davidw said:
    dewme said:
    Why is anyone surprised to see capitalism in action? When you peel back the ideology and chest-thumping comparisons to other economic system alternatives, remove the sugar coating, and disregard the have-nots and losers ... this is kind of what happens at the raw execution level with capitalism. Fairness? Social considerations? Humanity? Bah humbug. There is no crying in baseball, nor is there any in business.

    Honestly, I say this with a grain of salt because most decent companies do factor in fairness, social concerns, and humanity into their business execution, at least to some degree. The hope is that the boards and shareholders share the same priorities and are comfortable with the actions they take or implicitly approve of when it comes to employees. But their #1 priority, and the one instilled in their leaders and CEO is maintaining the viability and profitability of the business. This is never the same as employee's #1 priority, which is maintaining their career and the financial safety and security of themselves and their families. In most cases there is a reasonable balance and symbiosis between these two concerns, but when push comes to shove, capitalism steps in, and we all know whose priority will determine the outcome, which in Google's case is Lord Farquaad. It's good to be king.
    This isn’t “capitalism.’ It’s mismanagement. You have that in socialism as well. 

    Without capitalism, there would be no Apple, Google, etc. they would never have existed. 

    Sure, there is no perfect system, due to the nature of man. But capitalism is a heck of a lot better than all the other systems that have failed worldwide. 

    In every system, some suffer. Even in capitalism some suffer. Those who worker harder and smarter get more. Some, like the kids of rich people, get a head start. But it’s possible and reachable to make a great life for yourself. 

    In socialism, everyone suffers - except the government leaders who run the scam. And it’s never possible to achieve the dream. 

    I’ll take capitalism every day of the week and twice on sundays. 
    Winston Churchill summed it up in much fewer words ......

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
    This is capitalism in action. It's no different than saying if you look into the forest - you will see trees. Did I say that capitalism is bad, better, or worse than any other system? No. All I'm saying is that when people get laid off due to a downturn in business, or if the board of directors decides to reward a CEO with a huge compensation package, that's all part of the machinations of a business driven by values firmly rooted in capitalism. Nobody should be surprised by these events in any way, no more than anyone being surprised to find trees in the forest. It is exactly what it appears to be.

     When people start complaining about what is fair, or how much more a CEO makes compared to the median employee salary, or the human suffering associated with mass layoffs, that's when things start to diverge away from capitalism. But it's never really been about following a single ideology for the sake of living up to the pure definition of the ideology, it's about doing what's right and what works for the most number of affected people, i.e., finding a reasonable balance. For example, most folks who are laid off are given some sort of severance or unemployment insurance. From a pure capitalist perspective, paying people who aren't adding productive value to the business doesn't make sense, but it makes a lot of sense from a social and humanitarian point of view and to help people more easily rejoin the workforce.

    How many staunch anti-socialists refuse to collect Social Security or Medicare, or send back their COVID stimulus money - which you absolutely could have done? If you're a firm believer that only one pure system is best for all and willing to walk the talk, like some parts of society like Old Order Amish do, that's an admirable position to live up to, but impractical for most folks. Likewise, should we blithely ignore the so-called "happy countries" like Norway and Finland that have generous social entitlements? Perhaps we need to convince them that what they are doing is all wrong and they should follow the far less happy, violent, divisive, inequitable, and contentious capitalist countries? It's not unusual to try to help unhappy people make changes to make themselves happier. Should we do the opposite and try to convince happy people to make changes that are known to lead to less happiness, at least based on current data? Probably not going to happen. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves. 

    Personally, the combination of capitalism and socialism that we have in the US has been very good for me. The benefits of the social system allowed me to get to the starting line and the benefits of the capital system allowed me to control my own destiny from that point going forward. Whether I succeed or fail - it's all on me but I like those odds. I've always recognized that both socialist systems and capitalist systems have their benefits, risks, and implications that have to be managed and adapted to the realities of the world, regardless of the backing ideologies. Again, there is no one-size-fits-all solution because humans are not one-size-fits-all beings.
    edited May 2023 muthuk_vanalingammr. h
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