Amid stock downturn, Google's execs its biggest winners

Shareholders watched Google shares plummet by nearly $300 since peaking last fall. Those investors will hardly be reassured by the cheery news in Google's newly released annual report and proxy statement. The company did earn $13.29 a share, and Valley job-seekers also benefitted: The company added over 6,000 full time employees to its payroll last year. But who's raking in the cash? Not founders Larry Page or Sergey Brin, who only receive equity as income. CEO Eric Schmidt took home a salary of $480,000, slightly less than last year. CFO George Reyes — whom the company is actively trying to oust from his comfortable perch— took home millions in salary and stock last year, as did senior vice presidents Jonathan Rosenberg, Omid Kordestani and Alan Eustace. Here's how they scored:

  • Omid Kordestani, SVP, Global Business & Sales: The big winner, receiving 25,000 shares of stock valued at $11.2 million and 50,000 options valued at $6.3 million — though the company's shares are currently trading just a few points above the $448 strike price. Kordestani exercised 60,000 shares worth of options last year, worth $32.7 million.
  • Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP, Product Management: $5.8 million in cash and $14 million in stock and options.
  • Alan Eustace, SVP, Engineering: $5.2 million in cash and $14 million in stock and options.
  • George Reyes, retiring CFO: A distant fourth at $5.1 million in cash and $10.5 million in stock and options.

This year, expect more of the same: The company will not change executive compensation programs, after comparing them to market peers. It increased pay and stock packages last year.

The one number that jumped out to me was the amount of bad debt the company wrote down. Doubtful accounts amounted to $46 million, of which the company wrote down $30 million as bad debt, which nearly doubled from 2006. That's less than 1 percent of net profit, but can't be a good trend for a company with a lot of small accounts in a recessionary economy. Google's shareholders are hurting, as are its customers. But its executives? Doing just fine, thank you.