Some salespeople selling Google's cloud had their salaries cut by up to $50,000, report says

Urs1GoogleGoogle Cloud Platform boss Urs Hölzle

Google is dead serious about the enormous, multi-billion cloud computing market. And, as we’ve previously reported, it’s got a lot of catching up to do with market-leader Amazon.

Urs Hölzle is the man in charge of the cloud unit. One thing he’s doing to build Google’s cloud business is to beef up Google’s professional sales staff to try and win business from some of the largest companies in the world. It currently counts companies like Coca Cola, HTC, Best Buy and U.S. Cellular as customers.

Selling cloud services to big companies is very different than selling ads, the traditional source of Google revenue. Big companies expect a personal touch with their IT projects, with an account representative that can answer complex questions and sometimes deal with a very long and complicated bidding processes.

So, for the past year, Google has been hiring experienced cloud salespeople from companies like Amazon, Rackspace, Adobe. Google also moved some experienced Google salespeople from other units over to the new cloud sales unit.

At the start of this year, Hölzle decided to motivate these sales folks the old fashioned way, with commissions and, for the first time, quotas, according to a report from The Information’s Amir Efrati and Steve Nellis.

While enterprise salespeople can earn a lot of money, thanks to commissions, in this case there’s a rub. Hölzle reportedly cut the salaries of some of those long-term Googler’s by up to $US50,000, to make them more equal to the salaries of the newcomers, The Information reports.

Not that this puts them below the poverty line. According to data on Glassdoor, the average base salary for a “Google Enterprise Sales Operations Specialist” is $US131,000, with another $US90,000 in stock bonuses and $US20,000 in cash bonuses, or nearly over $US240,000 total.

We reached out to Google for comment and will update when we hear back.

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