SEC STALKER: Google Socks Shareholders With $5 Million Retirement Gift

Omid Kordestani

Thanks to Google’s employee-friendly options re-pricing program, Google’s former global ad sales boss Omid Kordestani got a $5.12 million gift from shareholders this March when he exchanged some 36,000 Google options priced at $448.23 for the same number of options priced at $308.57.

We don’t begrudge Omid a nice pay day — the former Netscape sales boss came to Google (GOOG) in 1999 and is now known as its “business founder” because he led the group that sold the first ads against Google’s search results — but the transaction does illustrate how these types of programs screw shareholders.

The whole point of Google’s option exchange was to incent employees with underwater options to stay at the company. But despite the $5.12 million gift from shareholders, Omid isn’t really staying with the company.

In April, Omid semi-retired from his position as Google’s global head of sales to become “Senior Advisor, Office of the CEO and Founders,” which we have reason to believe is the official title for “guy who Larry and Sergey are comfortable hanging out with on the Googleplane because he’s as rich as they are.” Forbes’s 2008 list put Omid’s net worth at around $1.9 billion.

We don’t suspect Omid is sticking around in order to see his re-priced options vest — with that kind of net worth, $5.12 million is chicken feed — but shareholders have a right to question if its the best use of their money.

SEC filings are boring and hard to understand but often give revealing tibits about the companies we cover. In SEC Stalker, we translate these filings back into English, revealing the plays and people behind the companies we know so well.

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