We’re at the tail end of proxy season and proxies are coming in fast and furious (the deadline for many companies is next Tuesday, April 30). While proxies are known for having lots of interesting information related to compensation, we found something else interesting in the proxy that Google filed yesterday.
First, a bit of background: Google’s ties to Stanford University are well-documented. Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page first developed PageRank while students at Stanford and the university holds the patent, which was issued in Sept. 2001. Stanford President John Hennessy is also a member of Google’s board.
Because of those ties, each year the company discloses its payments to Stanford as part of its disclosure on related party transactions. In 2012, Google paid Stanford $80,000 for the license, a sharp decline from the $400,000 paid in 201a and only 1/10 of what Google paid in 2010. Since Google began disclosing these payments, the company has paid Stanford around $3 million in licensing fees. Of course, that’s in addition to the $1.8 million shares that Google issued to Stanford, and which the school sold for $336 million in 2005.Google made up some of the difference by donating $3.4 million to Stanford for scholarships and what the proxy describes as “other philanthropic endeavors”, compared with $3 million in 2011.
There were other interesting tidbits in Google’s proxy too: in December 2012, 23andme, a company whose CEO is Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, raised $50 million in a Series D round. That was widely reported. But the amounts involved were not. Yesterday’s proxy provides a few more details: Google Ventures kicked in $1.5 million and Brin and Wojcicki invested another $20 million.
Finally, there’s the compensation: bonuses and stock option grants for top executives jumped sharply. For example, Nikesh Arora, senior VP and chief business officer, received a $10.8 million bonus in fiscal 2012 that includes $8 million in discretionary cash. Arora received $21.96 million in stock awards in 2012, up from $11.21 million in 2011, and $13.31 million in option awards, up from $8.32 million. CFO Patrick Pichette received $21.96 million in stock awards, up from $8.41 million, and $13.31 million in option awards, up from $6.24 million. David C. Drummond, senior VP of corporate development, chief legal officer and secretary, received $17.02 million in stock awards, up from $8.41 million, and $10.32 million in option awards, up from $6.24 million.