Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt had a pretty expensive aeroplane bill last year.
According to the Internet company’s latest proxy filing, part of Schmidt’s $US108.7 million annual compensation included $US672,400 for personal use of aircraft chartered by Google for an annual conference.
That’s a lot of money to fly to one conference.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the $US672,400 bill is not the cost of one single flight, but the cost of multiple flights to one conference.
It’s for a conference that Schmidt organizes every year in the US, this person said. But this year lots of people travelled to the event and there were many planes chartered to ferry the guests.
It’s unclear which conference the planes were for, including whether it was an official Google event or a personal event for Eric Schmidt, who was written a couple of books in recent years. While the source said the event has been held in past years, it appears that Google decided to pay for guests’ private chartered planes last year for the first time.
It’s not unusual for corporations to pay executives for certain perks, such as personal security, club memberships, and reimbursement for private plane expenses. In 2013, Schmidt received $US61,706 “paid by Google on Eric’s behalf for costs related to aircraft chartered for Google business on which his family and friends flew.” In 2012, Schmidt’s plane tab was $US14,018.
The 2014 plane bill is a drastic escalation in costs though.
Shareholders sometimes get riled up about executive perks. With Google’s multi-class stock structure, however, shareholders have little say and can do little more than grumble.
Google declined to comment on this story.
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