Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/05/google_ceo_safe/

Google funds $500k evil-blocking forcefield for CEO

Family hopes it's out of beta

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Financial News, 5th April 2007 21:11 GMT

Even billionaire colored ball advocates heading companies that do no evil have their problems. Google last year coughed up $530,000 just to keep CEO Eric Schmidt safe.

Google disclosed Schmidt's gold-laced security protection plan in a regulatory filing issued Wednesday. In addition, the ad broker noted $22,000 of payments made on Schmidt's behalf to cover family and friends using Google's infamous “party plane.” Schmidt, however, did save Google's investors same cash on the salary front, pulling in just $1.

Is $530,000 out of line for a security detail? Well, not really, according to security specialist Tim Gould at TG Protective Services. (A much better name than Bullet Catchers, who flaunt the motto “After all, idiots gamble on odds. You gamble on stakes.“)

“That amount sounds pretty accurate for executives that have full-time security services,” Gould told us, adding that $1m for a similar set-up would not be uncommon.

Schmidt's package likely includes security protection for corporate functions as well as security at his home and for his family.

Brash go-getters like Oracle Chief Larry Ellison might spend even more on their security services due to complications protecting Ellison while he's sailing or threatening other executives' dogs. In addition, CEOs who have just collected fat bonuses while laying off staff face disgruntled worker syndrome.

"The average working person can't relate to the payouts these guys get, so, when they're cut, they take it personally," Gould said.

Schmidt, of course, bounces along as a happy nerd, offending few. Sure, Bill Gates has enough chedda to hire a mercenary army, but that would seem brash even for a Microsoft executive. (Perhaps Schmidt has a full-time chair protectionist.)

And Google doesn't produce disgruntled workers. The cultists are too well-fed, massaged and rich to feel ill will toward Schmidt. ®