Google Offers Employee Option Exchange Program

After Beating Analysts Expectations

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As you’re probably aware by now, Google released its financial results for the fourth quarter yesterday, and although they managed to beat the analysts’ expectations, they also had a drop in profit.

Google has also announced an employee option exchange program. "Recognizing that about 85% of our employees have at least some stock options that are underwater (i.e., have an exercise price higher than the current market price of our common stock), we plan to offer our employees the opportunity to exchange those options," says Laszlo Bock, VP, People Operations.

According to the announcement, here’s how the program would work:

- This will be a one-for-one, voluntary exchange. Employees will be able to exchange part or all of an existing option grant for the same number of new options.

– The offer period will begin on January 29, 2009 and end at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 3, 2009, unless Google is required or opts to extend the offer period.

– Based on this expected timeline, employees will be able to exchange their underwater options for new options with a strike price equal to the closing price of our stock on March 2, 2009.
– The new options will have a new vesting schedule that adds 12 months to the original vesting schedule. In addition, new options will vest no sooner than 6 months after the close of the offer period.

– Generally, all Googlers with options are eligible to participate (Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page do not hold options) except where precluded by legal and tax issues in certain countries. We are working to address these issues and the final offer documentation will specify any countries in which we are not able to offer the program.

– This option exchange program has been approved by our Board of Directors.

Google has a FAQ page for the program in place here. Actually, it’s a PDF document.

Google Offers Employee Option Exchange Program
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  • http://www.hitful.com/insurance/index.html Insurance

    Thats nice but, Microsoft doesn’t offer options… They grant actual shares. Shares don’t go underwater and thus don’t require a new vesting schedule. It sucks that the vesting schedule has to change. Keep in mind that if the shares weren’t underwater they could be used to invest in the market currently when prices are low. 18 month from now when they get the liquidity they already earned the opportunities will change and all that time for growth will be lost.

    Google can still learn a thing or two. They aren’t so smart that everything they do is as good as humans can make it. A great deal of what they do is seriously flawed. It just happens that in this aspect of how they treat employees, Microsoft has it right and Google did it the dotcom way and everybody knew that was a bad structure.

  • http://www.indiesurf.com Darren Tan

    One of the best companies to work in definitely. Nice sharing!

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Good for the employees.

  • http://www.seequip.com/ Emergency Medical Supplies

    I want to work for Google someday..haha

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