Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s $226 million pay package in 2022 has ignited controversy among employees following the tech giant’s aggressive cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of 12,000 jobs and reductions in employee services.
CNBC reports that Google’s $226 million pay package for CEO Sundar Pichai in 2022 has sparked a firestorm of debate among staff members, who have taken to internal forums to vent their resentment and disappointment. This backlash follows Google’s aggressive cost-cutting initiatives, which included the axing of 12,000 jobs, scaling back on employee benefits, and reducing employee services.
One meme, addressing CFO Ruth Porat’s comments on multi-year cuts to employee services, stated, “Ruth’s cost savings applied to everyone… except our hardworking VPS and CEO.” Other memes making the rounds on Google’s internal forums compared Pichai to other tech CEOs like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, both of whom took significant pay cuts in response to layoffs at their respective companies.
Pichai’s pay increase was mainly the result of a $218 million stock award that he will get every three years. In addition to a $2 million base salary, his 2022 compensation package included nearly $6 million set aside for personal security. Many employees questioned the decision’s justification in light of Google’s extensive cost-cutting measures and the company’s recent authorization of a $70 billion stock buyback. Pichai’s total compensation is a gigantic increase from his 2021 compensation of $6.3 million.
One meme that garnered over 1,200 likes criticized the company’s priorities, asserting, “$70 billion in buybacks shows we respect external shareholders more than Googlers.” Another widely circulated meme depicted an image of the Shrek character Lord Farquaad, accompanied by the text, “Sundar accepting $226 million while laying off 12k Googlers, cutting perks, and destroying morale and culture.”
Pichai publicly admitted in January that he bore “full responsibility” for the company-wide layoffs. But when asked about possible reductions in executive pay, he sidestepped the question by focusing on how senior vice presidents were bearing “significant reductions to their bonuses.”
Employees at Google are becoming more tense as they consider the effects of Pichai’s pay increase and the company’s cost-cutting initiatives. Google has not yet made an official statement addressing the rising employee dissatisfaction.
Read more at CNBC here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan