Google’s $1 Salaries: Bear Baiting Investors

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Steve Jobs of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) used to be the big "$1 a year" salary guy. Now the privilege falls to Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) all of whom were paid just $1 in base salary last year.

Investors don’t appreciate the legerdemain because they are not fools.The $1 salary is fine for billionaires who want to show that they are all for stock-based compensation. For fabulously rich executives the gesture has no meaning. Google’s two founders have $13 billion each in the company’s shares. While the value of that stock has fallen as the shares have come down from $747 to $450, they still cannot buy enough airplanes, homes, or yachts to eat through it.

Google’s shareholders would much rather see their founders and CEO pillage the company the way that most CEOs do. Take out tens of millions of dollars and charge the company for private trips and fancy dinners. Just get the share price back over $700.

Douglas A. McIntyre