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Gold-star Fridays…

When Google (GOOG) filed its proxy late last Friday, most of the stories focused on how the three founders decided to cut their pay to $1 a year. But since most other execs (and their boards) are unlikely to aggressively lobby to cut their salaries, there is something else they can learn from Google’s proxy: the summary compensation chart is actually a summary. It wasn’t three pages long and the footnotes were actually easy to read with each note taking up one line. Perhaps that’s because the company didn’t come up with 19 different ways to describe the various forms of money that top executives are getting. And the amounts for things like retirement plans and insurance premiums weren’t in the hundreds of thousands or even millions as they are at many companies. Nor was there any mention of personal use of the corporate aircraft or company-paid financial planning services, which is practically a given at most large companies. All of this warrants a gold star. With any luck — investors cross your fingers — other executives and their boards will pick up some tips.