Google pays CEO Sundar Pichai $200 mn for 2016

Google's 44-year-old India-born chief executive Sundar Pichai received nearly $200 million in compensation from parent Alphabet last year, double the amount he got in 2015.

Pichai received a salary of $650,000 last year, slightly less than the $652,500 he earned in 2015. But the long-time Google employee, who was named CEO during the company's re-organisation in August 2015, received a stock award of $198.7 million in 2016, roughly double his 2015 stock award of $99.8 million.

Alphabet gave the award to Pichai in January 2016, a few months after he succeeded Larry Page as Google's CEO. Pichai still reports to Page, a Google co-founder who is now Alphabet's CEO.

Page limits his annual pay to $1 because he already has an estimated fortune of $41 billion.

The company's compensation committee attributed the lavish pay to Pichai's promotion to CEO and "numerous successful product launches".

Page has shifted his focus to growing new businesses under the Alphabet umbrella.

Under Pichai, Google has boosted sales from its core advertising and YouTube business, while also investing in machine learning, hardware and cloud computing, reports said.

In 2016, Google unveiled new smartphones, a virtual reality headset, a router, and a voice controlled smart speaker. These efforts have started to pay off for the company.

Google's "other revenues", a category that includes hardware and cloud services, hit nearly US $3.1 billion in the most recent quarter, a gain of about 50 per cent from the same quarter a year earlier.

Alphabet's stock has soared this year, pushing it above a $600 billion market cap this week for the first time.