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News Editor

A gesture they can afford

Apr 03, 20062 mins
Data Center

What would ever possess a person to turn down a pay raise?

Well, avoiding the perception that you’re a greed-head might be a good reason. And, in fact, that might explain why Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with company CEO Eric Schmidt, said “no, thanks” recently when their board of directors offered them a hike from their one-dollar-a-year salaries. The three had voluntarily gone the token-salary route back when Google went public in 2004. 

The practice is becoming more common in CEO circles, according to this story in today’s San Jose Mercury News. And there’s no getting around the fact that the executives who are doing it deserve a measure of credit: after all, they earned their wealth and have created a whole bunch more for a whole bunch of stockholders.

However, there’s a risk of getting carried away with assigning points for unselfishness here.

After all, what’s the worst-case scenario for Google’s dollar-a-year trio? They’re already filthy, stinking rich — billionaires all.  So, if Google’s stock goes into the tank as many continue to predict — say it drops a full 50% — where would that leave Page, Brin and Schmidt?

Filthy, stinking rich, that’s where. They can afford to be magnanimous.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at