Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG CEO Sundar Pichai‘s hefty pay increase is under fire from the company’s employees.
What Happened: Memes about the salary hike are circulating on the company’s internal discussion forums, which have attracted hundreds of likes, reported CNBC after reviewing the internal company posts.
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One of the meme’s referred to Alphabet’s CFO Ruth Porat who sent out a companywide email last month saying the Google–parent was making “multi-year” cuts to employee services.
“Ruth’s cost savings applied to everyone…except our hardworking VPS and CEO,” said the meme, according to CNBC. The post reportedly attracted more than 1,200 likes.
Yet another meme featured the “Shrek” character Lord Farquaad and carried the message, “Sundar accepting $226 million while laying off 12k Googlers, cutting perks, and destroying morale and culture.”
The quote from the film’s character reportedly read, “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”
Why It Matters: In 2022, Pichai saw a pay rise of $6.3 million compared with the preceding year. This makes him one of the highest-paid corporate leaders in the world.
The media compensation for Alphabet employees in 2022 stood at $279,802, according to a filing made by the company. Pichai’s compensation was 808 times that amount, according to a prior report.
Employees have been taking digs at Pichai and comparing him to Apple CEO Tim Cook who saw a 40% cut from his 2022 total compensation, reported CNBC.
Alphabet sent emails to employees in mid-January saying that it planned to reduce its headcount by 12,000.
Thereafter, a clutch of Google employees took to social media to pan the axing and one even labeled the move a “slap in the face.”
Last year the employees had expressed displeasure over the company cutting budgets for entertainment, travel and swag. The staff members accused the company of “nickel and diming” them at the time.
Price Action: On Wednesday, in after-hours trading, Google Class A shares rose 0.3% to $105.69 while the company’s Class C shares increased 0.2% to $106.32. Both Class A and C shares increased nearly 0.1% in the regular session at $105.41 and $106.12, respectively, according to Benzinga Pro data.