Google Inc. has awarded $100 million worth of equity toEric Schmidt, who is stepping aside as CEO but will stay with the company as executive chairman.

Google said in a regulatory filing on Monday the stock and stock options will be granted on Feb. 2 and will vest over four years.

The magnitude of the award is “unusual” for an executive who is transitioning out of the CEO role — and may even be unusual for sitting CEOs, said David Wise, senior principal at management consulting firm Hay Group. But given Schmidt’s success, “the board clearly wants to retain his guidance for the next four years.”

“It’s a signal to shareholders that he’ll continue to steer the boat,” Wise added.

Schmidt, 55, is being replaced as Google’s CEO byA co-founder LarryPage. Both men, along with Google’s other co-founder Sergey Brin, have limited their salaries to $1 for years. But the three are Google’s controlling shareholders and Schmidt’s net worth is about $5.45 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Source: News.yahoo.com

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