Published: Thu, April 27, 2017
Business | By Jorge Reeves

Marissa Mayer will walk away from Yahoo with $186 million

Marissa Mayer will walk away from Yahoo with $186 million

And that person is Yahoo's chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer.

The hefty payout comes despite Ms. Mayer's inability to accomplish what she was hired to do five years ago: revitalize the fading internet icon after its struggles with high employee and executive turnover and declines in ad revenue. The purchase has already been hung up, and the price reduced, because of ongoing turmoil at Yahoo, including revelations previous year of two data breaches.

Yahoo's CEO holds stock, stock options and restricted stock units worth a total of $186m, according to documents sent to shareholders about the Verizon deal. That figure included a $20 million estimate of the value of restricted stock units, as well as $3.02 million in cash. Shareholders will be asked to approve the deal on 8 June and a yes vote will most likely trigger a huge payout for Mayer.

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The Alibaba stake also ended up forcing Mayer into a role she didn't necessarily want to inhabit - that of the CEO shopping her company. Once she pays to exercise her options, she'll be left with $186 million based on Monday's stock price of $48.15.

In 2014, Yahoo fell out of the Fortune 500 for the first time.

Mayer started off by trying to expand the content business of Yahoo. This will no longer include the valuation of stock she has already sold or the bonus she made a decision to give up due to the massive cyber security breaches revealed earlier a year ago. Verizon plans to buy Yahoo's core business, which Marissa Mayer was not able to build again.

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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.

Just recently, Verizon and Yahoo reduced the value of the deal by $350 million after Yahoo disclosed data breaches that affected hundreds of millions of users.

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. To make matters worse, Verizon threatened they may pull out of the deal as clearly the security measures at Yahoo were subpar.

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