Google Intends To Tie Senior Exec Bonuses To ESG, Per Shareholder Letter

Google will introduce a bonus program in 2022 for members of its senior executive team that will be determined in part by performance supporting its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals that the company says have long been a key part of Alphabet and Google's work. The details are outlined in the company's annual proxy filing written by Chairman John Hennessy.

The company has added three new directors in the past five years to support diversity, as well as to ensure diversity of backgrounds and perspectives within the boardroom.

The idea is to balance between long-term understanding of its business and fresh external perspectives.

Hennessy, in the letter, also addressed diversity and workplace harassment. He wrote that the Alphabet board agreed on a series of “industry-leading principles and improvements that incorporated input from both employees and stockholders, including the creation of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council, which comprises internal senior executives and external DEI experts.”

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The Board now reviews the effectiveness of Alphabet’s sexual harassment and retaliation prevention programs and proposed changes quarterly.

This past year, the Board implemented a majority voting standard for elections of directors, and amended the charter of its Audit Committee -- now the Audit and Compliance Committee -- giving it increased oversight on matters related to strategy and financial reporting, competition, civil and human rights, and sustainability. It also has oversight over data privacy and security.

Alphabet disclosed that Google, GV, and Gradient Ventures directly invested, or committed to invest, an aggregate of approximately $32.1 million in certain private companies from the beginning of 2020 through March 31, 2021, Kleiner Perkins was a co-investor or existing investor, among others.

Alphabet also disclosed business transactions with companies affiliated with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. From the start of 2020 through March 31, 2021, it charged LTA Research & Exploration, owned by an entity affiliated with Brin, approximately $3.5 million. In addition, there were other charges.

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