Schmidt Sells Shares
(Reuters) - Google Inc is set to give Eric Schmidt a $100 million equity award as he hands over the chief executive officer job to co-founder Larry Page.
The award, which will include stock units and options will vest over four years and is Schmidt's first such award since joining the company in 2001, a spokesperson said.
News of Schmidt's equity award was first reported by Bloomberg.
In a surprise announcement last week, Google said Schmidt will take on the role of executive chairman in April and will be replaced as CEO by Google co-founder Larry Page.
The news came on the same day that Google reported earnings and revenue that blew past expectations.
But while Google has dominated Internet search, it has struggled with social networking and is facing stiff competition from companies like Facebook and Twitter, which are stealing Web traffic and engineering talent.
Schmidt said in an interview with Reuters that his move was not a reaction to competitors but an effort to speed up decision-making at the Internet giant.
In a regulatory filing last week, Google said that Schmidt in December drew up a plan to sell some of his stock in the company.
"The pre-arranged trading plan was adopted in order to allow Eric to sell a portion of his Google stock as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity," the filing said.
As of December 31, Schmidt had about 9.2 million shares of Google stock and controlled 9.6 percent of the company's voting power. Schmidt plans to sell about 534,000 shares of Class A common stock -- meaning he would continue to hold 8.7 million shares of Google stock and control 9.1 percent of the company's voting power.
Shares of Mountain View, California-based Google closed at $611.83 on the Nasdaq on Friday.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Bernard Orr)