Google boss to earn more than the company paid in tax in the UK
The boss of Google has become the highest paid chief executive in America after being handed 199 million US dollars (£138m) in shares. Sundar Pichai was awarded 273,328 shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet on February 3, according to a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
It is reported that Mr Pichai’s total stock value now sits at about 650 million US dollars (£449 million). The payout will make him the top-earning chief executive in the United States when compared to the Forbes list of the top 10 highest-paid US bosses.
Mr Pichai became chief executive of Google following the creation of its parent company Alphabet last year. However, his fortunes are dwarfed by those of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who have reportedly made 34.6 billion US dollars (£23.9 billion) and 33.9 billion US dollars (£23.4 billion) respectively.
The UK Government has come under sharp criticism after Google agreed to pay £130 million to cover back taxes since 2005. The agreement was seen by some as too lenient for the internet giant.
The former chancellor Lord Lawson called for the corporate tax system to be radically overhauled in the wake of the row.
But Chancellor George Osborne has warned against demands to shake-up the way multinational firms pay tax, insisting strengthening the existing corporation tax system based on profits was better than moving to a levy on turnover.
Google owner Alphabet knocked fellow US tech giant Apple off its top spot last week to become the world’s most valuable public company.
Alphabet posted a fourth-quarter profit of 4.9 billion US dollars (£3.4 billion) when it updated the market on February 1, up from 4.7 billion US dollars (£3.3 billion) a year ago.
It means Alphabet’s market value at the time stood at 555 billion US dollars (£386 billion), compared with Apple which is valued at 533 billion US dollars (£371 billion).
Google – which holds lucrative businesses such as digital advertising sales, search engine and YouTube – reorganised itself under Alphabet last October.