Google has delayed a stock option exchange plan aimed at creating incentives for employees to remain at the company.
The company announced the plan last week with fourth quarter financial results because many of the current stock options would cost more to exercise than they are worth due to a decline in earnings.
Google stock is trading at around $340 a share, which is less than half the value the shares rose to in late 2007.
The exchange programme was set to begin yesterday, but now employees will have to wait until 3 February to exchange their options for new ones at current share prices.
Employees were notified in an e-mail of the delay. Google said it remained committed to offering the stock exchange programme, but did not give any reason for the delay.