SAN FRANCISCO – Four of Google Inc.'s top executives each received 2008 bonuses of more than $1.2 million for helping the Internet search leader eke out modest earnings growth during a recession that battered much of corporate America.
The bonuses disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday were less than the awards doled out in 2007 when Google's profit rose 37 percent, dwarfing 2008's gain of 1 percent.
The Mountain View-based company's market value plunged by about $120 billion, or 56 percent last year, reflecting concerns that the weakening economy will eviscerate the online advertising market that generates virtually all of Google's revenue.
Tuesday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't include any information about the salaries or stock compensation paid to Google's top executives last year. Those disclosures are expected within the next few weeks when Google files its proxy statement.
Following company tradition, Google didn't pay bonuses to Chief Executive Eric Schmidt or co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Those three men are all billionaires, thanks to their large stock holdings in Google.
Jonathan Rosenberg, who oversees Google's products, received the largest bonus at $1.64 million, a 3 percent decrease from 2007's incentive award of $1.68 million.
Omid Kordestani, Google's top sales executive, and Alan Eustace, who oversees the company's engineers, each got bonuses of $1.38 billion, an 18 percent cut from $1.68 billion in 2007. The documents didn't elaborate on the reasons why the bonuses paid to Kordestani and Eustace were lowered more than Rosenberg's was.
Google gave a $1.24 million to its chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, for his contributions after joining the company in August. Pichette has been widely credited for engineering a cost-cutting effort that helped Google offset its slowing revenue growth.
George Reyes, Google's CFO before Pichette, received a 2008 bonus of $675,000, down from $1.68 million in 2007 when he was with the company the entire year.
Google's top executives are eligible for annual bonuses of up to $6 million apiece.