Google pays seven-figure bonuses to 4 top execs

Four of Google Inc.'s top executives each received 2008 bonuses of more than $1.2 million for helping the Internet search leader eke out modest earnings growth during a recession that battered much of corporate America. The bonuses disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday were less than the awards doled out in 2007 when Google's profit rose 37 percent, dwarfing 2008's gain of 1 percent. The Mountain View-based company's market value plunged by about $120 billion, or 56 percent last year, reflecting concerns that the weakening economy will eviscerate the online advertising market that generates virtually all of Google's revenue. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt gave investors little hope Tuesday. Speaking at a technology conference, Schmidt described the conditions in the economy as "dire" and predicted things were unlikely to improve until 2010.