Google employees were angered by a significant increase in the salary of the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai at a time of aggressive cost cutting and the elimination of 12 thousand workplaces at Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google, writes CNBC.
Sundar Pichai became one of the highest-paid executives in America after a salary increase that year. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Pichai received a total of $226 million last year, mostly through a $218 million in stock award. Last week, the company announced a $70 billion share buyback authorization that allowed Pichai to sell his shares.
Google’s internal platforms were soon filled with chatter and memes criticizing Pichai for raising his own salary while cutting costs elsewhere. Some employees also expressed displeasure with the stock buyback, which was equal to the 2022 buyback.
In memes, the CEO of Google is compared to Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose total compensation for 2022 was more than 40% less than planned. Pichai also looks unfavorably against the backdrop of Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, who announced a 98% cut in his salary and bonus waivers after the company cut 1,300 jobs.
The memes showed an image of Lord Farquaad from Shrek with the text: “Sundar accepting $226 million while laying off 12k Googlers, cutting perks, and destroying morale and culture.”
The character’s quote was: “Some of you may die, but that’s the sacrifice I am willing to make.”
Google had no official comment on this story.
It was previously reported that Google’s revenue from advertising declined for the second time in a row as the company tries to navigate economic uncertainty and take advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence.