What a relief! Amazon revealed late today that Andy Jassy, who takes the reins as CEO on Tuesday, won’t have to search the cushions for coins. Amazon is granting him restricted stock that at today’s price is worth $214 million, an award several times bigger than the grants he’s been getting every couple of years as AWS chief. Jassy already has stock worth around $300 million, thanks to past stock grants. So while there’s no chance he’ll become rich on the scale of his boss, Jeff Bezos, Jassy should do just fine, thank you very much.
These kinds of stock grants are common among big tech companies bringing in new CEOs: Tim Cook at Apple, Sundar Pichai at Alphabet and Satya Nadella at Microsoft got similar awards when they were appointed to the top job. All three have managed to justify their awards. Cook has done a remarkable job for shareholders, even if he hasn’t matched Steve Jobs’ record as an innovator. Pichai, despite a widespread reputation for indecisiveness, appears to be presiding over a resurgence at Alphabet—as witnessed in its recent revenue growth rate and as we noted today, its stock price. Of course, Nadella at Microsoft arguably sets the gold standard for CEOs reinventing tech giants.