Google was kind enough to file an internal employee-compensation presentation with the SEC this afternoon. The slide show is designed, in part, to explain to Googlers why their Transferable Stock Options (a Google innovation) are worth so much more than regular old stock options.
Because, with Google’s TSO program, when the stock price plunges below the option’s strike price–the way it has for many of Google’s 20,000 employees now that the stock is at three-year lows–Googlers can still cash in.
Why is Google giving employees this presentation now? Yes, we’d bet our own Google Transferable Stock Options that employees are restive and frustrated now that the stock has tanked.
In any event…in the past two years, as the stock has (mostly) dropped, Googlers have made $43 million more than they would have with regular old stock options. (Chicken feed in Google terms, but fine real-world pay).
Google’s TSO is a great program for Googlers, and, in some ways, a good one even for shareholders (because Google won’t have to screw shareholders by resetting the value of its options if and when it becomes clear that most employees will be permanently underwater).
Some other nuggets from the compensation book:
- Google aims to pay cash comp at the 75th percentile across the industry (for each job level)
- Google aims to pay stock comp at the 90th percentile
- Googlers get both stock options and Google Stock Units (GSUs), the latter of which are actually stock
- Google gives special GSU grants to “recognise audacious accomplishments”.
So get cracking, Googlers… Full presentation here.