A look at the new Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) proxy shows that founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were each paid $1 for their work in 2007. Steve Jobs has done the same thing at Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Of course, the two Google founders each have about $13 billion in stock and Jobs is also rich as Croesus.
The $1 salary is a bit of theater. It says that the compensation of senior management will be built on the stock price. If it does not do well, all we have is that $1.
The gesture does not even fool idiots when the share price is down and the management is wealthy. Even with Google off from a high of $747 to its current price of $450, Brin and Page retain wealth which is beyond most investors' wildest dreams. The level of their salaries has no meaning.
Google shareholders would be much happier if Brin and Page plundered the company for tens of millions in compensation provided that they get the stock back over $700. The $1 salary is just an insult.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.