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Google in crosshairs again after CEO share pay-out

Search engine giant Google is back in the cross hairs again - as it emerged it paid its boss more than the UK taxman.

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Google is prompting further controversy with its latest CEO pay-out

Search engine giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is back in the crosshairs again - as it emerged it paid its boss more than the UK taxman.

Not content with swiping the title of world's most valuable firm from Apple, parent firm Alphabet has now issued shares to 43 -year -old Sundar Pichai making him the highest paid boss in the USA.

A regulatory filing showed he has been paid shares in Alphabet worth an eye watering US$199mln (£138mln), bringing his total holding to a cool US$650mln.

But this is unlikely to go down too well with critics of Google's tax settlement last month where Google agreed to pay HMRC £130mln just to cover the last decade.

The figure was declared "derisory" by Labour, while George Osborne, the Chancellor, claimed it as a success for the government's approach.

Pichai's latest share issue is almost three times what Ralph Lauren was paid over the whole of 2015 - at US$66.7mln.

The next highest paid executive last year reportedly was John Hammergren, of pharmaceutical group Mckesson - who brought in US$131.2mln last year.

Pichai has been at the helm of the internet search engine since Alphabet became parent in a restructuring last October.

His shares will vest incrementally each quarter until 2019.

Pichai joined Google in 2004 and led the product management and innovation for a suite of software products, including Google Chrome, Chrome OS. He was largely responsible for Google Drive.

Last week, Alphabet revealed it was now worth about US$568bn against the maker of the iPhone, which is valued at US$535bn after reporting a profit of US$4.9bn in the quarter to end December, up from US$4.7bn a year earlier.

An increase in online advertising on Google helped the company rack up annual profits of US$16.3bn, although its Other Bets business lost US$3.6bn during the period.

Google shares rose 0.69% on Tuesday to US$687.41.

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