Google is an empire today, so it’s hard to imagine a time when the company was humble. However, that era already existed in the second half of the 1990s, which has generated some curious stories. Perhaps none of them is as incredible as that of Charlie Ayers, hired to head the company’s canteen, and who is now a millionaire.
Ayers joined Google in 1999, just one year after joining the company, after participating in a contest. Before that, he had worked as a cook in the Hilton hotel chain and for bands like Grateful Dead. What he did not know is how much his life would change with the decision to join that small business.
At the time, the company had revenues of only $ 220,000 a year, which is ridiculous compared to Google’s current money-generating ability. The most recent Alphabet result for full-year 2016 totaled $ 90 billion.
Thus, Ayers, who became known as the 53 employee, entered the company at the right time: a time when Google did not have the money to pay the big wages of Silicon Valley, so any employee to be part of that first generation received huge amounts of shares and options of the company, still with closed capital.
Google began to grow rapidly thereafter. The following year, annual revenues jumped from $ 220,000 to over $ 19 million, and in 2001 they shot up to $ 85 million, reaching $ 430 million in 2002 and $ 1.5 billion in 2003. 2004, with a turnover of $ 3.2 billion, finally Google announced its IPO and the beginning of stock exchange trading, transforming its first employees into millionaires. Among them, Ayers, hired to prepare food for the company’s 40 employees.
Charlie had, at the moment, 40,000 shares of Google. With the IPO, the shares were priced at $ 85 each, so he, with a few years working at Google’s restaurant, had accumulated $ 3.4 million in equity.
He did not get rich just by his actions, though. Leading a kitchen staff of 150 employees, he also received a fat salary in the six-digit annual household, which in itself already guaranteed a comfortable life. In addition, it is striking that, even though he may be immediately wealthy, Charlie Ayers has never sold any stock.
In 2017, Alphabet shares are traded at a price of $ 939, which, with Ayers 40,000 shares, would generate $ 37.5 million for the cook. However, it is important to note that in 2014, the shares of the company were divided into a ratio of 2 to 1, which means that it now has 80,000 shares of the company. That is: your estimated equity today is $ 75 million, just with your actions.
Today, apart from the shares held in the company, Ayers no longer has a working relationship with the company. He stopped running Google’s kitchen in 2005, a year after becoming a millionaire with the IPO, launched a cookbook and opened his own restaurant.