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Leaked Google pay data reveals fat salaries for top engineers

An internal Google spreadsheet containing salary data for over 12,000 US-based employees in 2022 was leaked to Insider, and it shows that the tech giant’s highest earners are software engineers, raking in base salaries of $718,000.

Google determines its staffers’ base salaries using a tier-based system with levels two through 11.

The spreadsheet released to Insider — which only contained data up to a level seven employee — showed that level seven software engineers brought home an annual salary of $718,000, not including bonuses or stock that may have been offered to them as part of their compensation package.

The leaked document revealed that annual bonuses for software engineers also topped the charts at $605,000, meaning a staffer with the job title could bring home about $1.3 million per year.

The high-yielding paychecks puts Google’s level seven software engineers in the country’s top 1% of earners, according to figures published by SmartAsset last week.

Lower-ranking software engineers on the sheet reported making anywhere from $100,000 to $375,000, Insider reported.

Google’s most lucrative staffers are level seven software engineers, who bring home base salaries of $718,000 and receive bonuses of up to $605,000 each year.
AFP via Getty Images

In a list of Google’s most lucrative employees, engineering managers were the second highest-paid staffers, with base salaries of $400,000.

Google’s enterprise direct sales workers were next, making $377,000 per year; and legal corporate counsel and sales team followed, both with base salaries of $320,000.

Also making at least $300,000: user experience designers, workers in Google’s government affairs and public policy department, research scientists, Cloud salespeople and program managers.

The average compensation for Google full-time US-based workers in 2022 was $279,802, Insider reported.

The lowest-paid staff at Google were its technical operations staffers with base salaries that started at $47,000 — $1,000 less than a technical intern makes at the Alphabet-owned company.

Data scientists sat right about in the middle, with a base salary that could range from $120,000 to $254,000, Insider reported.

However, potential bonuses for data scientists ranked No. 2 behind software engineers, showing that staffers with this job title could get a pay bump of up to $326,000 per year.

Despite Google dishing out such large salaries, none are as much as the one brought home by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who earned a reported $226 million in total compensation in 2022.

The 51-year-old Google boss’ base salary was a whopping $2 million. An additional $218 million came in the form of stock awards, and another $6 million was tacked on in “other compensation,” which could stem from the company’s retirement plans and “personal use of company aircraft.”

In 2022, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, 51, earned a reported $226 million in total compensation.
In 2022, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, 51, earned a reported $226 million in total compensation.

Overall, Pichai earned more than 800 times the median employee’s pay despite sweeping layoffs and slashing lavish perks once enjoyed by employees.

In 2022, Alphabet made a total of $282.8 billion in revenue, according to an SEC filing related to its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2022.

Yet days later, weeks into 2023, Alphabet laid off 12,000 staffers. When Pichai circulated the news via memo from the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., he also informed workers that the layoffs would be implemented immediately for workers in the US offices.

Google employees in other countries whose jobs are on the chopping block will undergo a more lengthy termination process “due to local laws and practices,” Pichai wrote at the time.

Google staffers were outraged after its corporate parent, Alphabet, handed 12,000 workers pink slips earlier this year. The move came just weeks after Alphabet reported more than $282.8 billion in revenue.
Google staffers were outraged after its corporate parent, Alphabet, handed 12,000 workers pink slips earlier this year. The move came just weeks after Alphabet reported more than $282.8 billion in revenue.

The massive handout of pink slips left employees feeling “100% disposable,” laid-off worker and former Google engineering manager Justin Moore said in a scathing LinkedIn post.

Moore, who worked at Google for more than 16 years, also wrote: “This also just drives home that work is not your life, and employers — especially big, faceless ones like Google — see you as 100% disposable. Live life, not work.”

Axed workers reportedly received 16 weeks of severance pay in addition to two weeks for each additional year of service at Google.

The move came after Alphabet’s workforce ballooned during the pandemic to nearly 187,000 people by late last year from 119,000 at the end of 2019, according to recent regulatory filings.

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