Google employees have a reputation for high compensation (and great in-office perks, at least when those offices are open). But however much they make, it’s almost certainly a fraction of what Sundar Pichai, CEO of both Google and Alphabet (Google’s holding company), pulls down in a typical year.

Financial analytics firm S&P Global recently crunched the numbers and figured out that Pichai earned $280.6 million in 2019. For those keeping score at home, that’s 1,085 times the median Google employee salary of $258,708. Keep in mind that Pichai makes a mere $2 million in actual annual salary; the bulk of his pay package comes from equity valued at $276.6 million.  

Late last year, The Verge analyzed Pichai’s long-term salary numbers and found that he’d earned nearly $1 billion in stock grants over the past ten years. That puts him in the same tech-executive tier as Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose estimated net worth just passed $1 billion thanks to a heaping pile of Apple stock as part of his overall compensation.

If you’re interested in joining Google as a software engineer or developer, you’ll have a long way to go to land Pichai-sized compensation, but you’ll still be paid well, especially in relation to other big tech firms. Google offers a very competitive combination of bonus, salary, and stock to even the newest employees, according to crowdsourced data from

Then you have senior engineering compensation at Google and other firms, which is likewise high; however, these crowdsourced numbers don’t take into account what a technologist can earn if they specialize in a sought-after category. For example, those who work with machine-learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the context of key projects, such as Google’s self-driving car project, can easily earn millions (just not Pichai-level millions).

Other tech firms have similarly outsized ratios between CEO and median employee pay. At IBM, it’s 354x, with former CEO Ginni Rometty pulling down $20.2 million in 2019, versus a median employee salary of $56,896. Intel, meanwhile, paid its CEO $66.9 million in 2019, versus its $96,300 median employee salary—a very healthy multiple of 208x. 

Are CEOs worth such a massive multiple? It’s the sort of pay that companies find easy to justify when they’re large and doing well—and difficult when the stock starts to fall.