Marissa Mayer will walk away from Yahoo with $186 million

Posted April 27, 2017

It is possible that the CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer could make about 186 Million dollars from the sale of the company to Verizon Communications. It has been noted that she now holds Yahoo stock, stock options, and restricted stock units worth a total of $186 million. This is known as 'golden parachute' compensation, where she is due to receive $3 million in cash, $24,000 in benefits, and $19,971,367 in equity. "She also holds about 1.6 million Yahoo shares, worth almost $77 million", the Journal reported (paywall).

When Mayer, one of Google's earliest recruits, joined Yahoo in 2012, her hiring was deemed a major coup for the already struggling internet pioneer.

A series of acquisitions, such as the social network Tumblr, also failed to pay off for the group, and Yahoo looked to separate the Alibaba stake from its core operations.

As Yahoo nears its much-delayed vote on June 8 over the sale of its Internet business to Verizon, the company released its definitive proxy statement Monday, which spelled out the deal for shareholders. And that person is Yahoo's chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer.

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With that having been said the CEO's payout consists of Yahoo stock, stock options and restricted stock units. The stake had made Yahoo an appealing way for US investors to invest in Alibaba before its IPO, helping to drive up Yahoo's share price in the mean time. Mayer admitted that year the company had only started investing in mobile in 2013 and was "late" and "behind".

Criticism of Mayer - who had previously risen from software engineer to product manager to vice president at Google - has been at times more harsh than she deserves, said analyst Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group. Mayer also voluntarily gave up her 2017 bonus and equity grants.

This compensation does not include her salary and bonuses over the past five years or the value of other stock that Mayer has already sold.

If it had been a Wall Street hot shot that had come in and revived Yahoo's faltering stock and presided over a multibillion-dollar sale, that person wouldn't be begrudged a final payout of more than $100 million, Espelien suggested. This venture will be spearheaded by Thomas McInerney, a Yahoo director who carried out the Verizon deal.