Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer likely to pocket over $122.5 million with sale to Verizon

“After the Verizon deal was announced on Monday, the Internet erupted in outrage that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer could collect as much as $55 million,” Stephen Gandel reports for Yahoo Finance.

“But, here’s the thing, that widely reported $55 million figure grossly understates what Mayer is likely to pocket after the deal closes,” Gandel reports. “The real number: $122,578,795.”


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo: Art Streiber)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo: Art Streiber)
“The reason the Verizon deal is so lucrative for Mayer is because of a so-called change of control provision. Yahoo, like other companies, has long had the provision in Mayer and other executive’s pay agreement,” Gandel reports. “According to the clause, Mayer can immediately cash in all of her options and unvested stock if Yahoo gets acquired by another company, and Mayer leaves Yahoo within the next year.”

“But the clause technically didn’t provide for a sale of Yahoo’s main business unit, its internet operations, to another company, which is the deal Yahoo struck with Verizon,” Gandel reports. “But in April, Yahoo’s board voted to alter its change-in-control provision to include the sale of a major business unit as well; and with that, Mayer’s $123 million payday was created.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not really a “payday.” Most of that $122.5 million compensation lies in shares that were granted over Mayer’s four-year tenure as Yahoo CEO. In other words, regardless of your thoughts on the number of options granted over the period, she’s already “earned” that portion of her compensation – all of which, of course, Yahoo’s BoD approved. In other words, it’s not a parting gift.

Mayer took on an impossible job and deserves credit for staying with the thing when it would have been easy to simply walk away from the mess she inherited.

Marissa Mayer would be a wonderful CEO with the right company.


  1. This is yet another example of the prostituion of the BODs of every company, where the member’s votes on compensation for the exec staff directly impacts the surveys that support their own over-compensation. How exactly did someone who utterly failed to lead the firm to viability “earn” anything. She was gifted it in the corrupt way that almost all BOD’s do this – an admittedly hidden corruption, but one where the process clearly demands that most if not all of those making such decisions should and must recuse themselves from any involvement in the process. Period.

    1. What’s wrong with her health?

      Looks and sounds like it’s hard for Crooked Hillary to push all those lies out of her throat. Like sewage, they often get backed up and need a little extra push (cough) to get out.

  2. People who see nothing wrong with this sort of obscene compensation — for someone who wasn’t even that good at their job — are part of what’s wrong with American capitalism.

    She didn’t build the company, she didn’t lead it into new ventures, she made no strategic acquisition that built value for shareholders. Basically, she rode a sinking ship for a while and couldn’t find a way to steer it towards anything of interest.

    Yeah. she earned that $120 million payday.

    1. Nobody could have been more successful. She put her ass and reputation on the line, and in the line of fire, for a declining company that essentially had no viable future anyway. Years of performance puts you in line for a job like this. Easy to be a critic – I guess that takes years of practice as well. It just doesn’t pay as well – because it provides no value whatsoever.

      1. Typical jealous communist backer of loser Crooked Hillary (who is bought and paid for by Wall St. and foreign countries).

        Minimum wage hikes only raise the floor of poverty. Raise it and the cost of living rises for all, including those making minimum wage. Prices aren’t fixed. Make it cost more for employers to employ people and the number of unemployed will rise even further (actual unemployed, including those who’ve given up looking, not just those measured by the government’s official “unemployment” rate which is a farce with so many millions having given up over 7+ years of Obama/Clinton malaise. Check the increases of the numbers on food stamps and “disability” during the past 7+ years of Democrat bumbling).

        You want success? Go make something of yourself. Not everyone deserves a yacht.

        Comment posted from my yacht.

          1. Okay, typical jealous communist backer of loser Bernie Sanders, Che Guevara, Nicolás Maduro, or similar, based on reading your jealous, commie, statist, socialist rants over the years.

          2. Yea, I’ll go along with F2T2:

            ” typical jealous communist backer of loser Bernie Sanders, Che Guevara, Nicolás Maduro, or similar, based on reading your jealous, commie, statist, socialist rants over the years.”

            One thing F2T2 did not point out but others have but some, like you, don’t listen:

            Wages go up, automation comes in, people lose jobs to robots. If anyone, you should understand that.

            From my perspective, I really dont care except for the people that lose jobs. Here’s why: as inflation goes up, my debts go down. As minimum wage goes up, my wages go up, inflation goes up, and my debt burden goes down. It’s really quite wonderful and makes it hard for me to fight for the little guy to keep his job by keeping him affordable.

            Then again, minimum wage goes up, little guy loses his job, goes on food stamps and welfare, and votes democrat. Now do you understand the Democratic play book? aka SLAVERY.

          3. You two have nothing to worry about – you’ll get your right-of-center to far-Right president, along with war, more restrictions on our personal freedom, and continued greater concentration of wealth at the “top”.

            Relax and stop with the vitriol.

            1. I don’t think Trump is all that far to the right.

              I’ve been waiting 40+ years for a business man to run the country like a business, like an Apple Inc. business. Could have been a Dem or a Repub. In this case, he is neither.

              He is a problem solver rather than a problem creator.

            2. You should read the interview with the guy who wrote “The Art of the Deal” for him (30 years ago). Trump is as crooked a businessman as there can be one. Majority of lawsuits against him were settled out of court (and majority he sued he lost or was dismissed); Most often, he would stiff the little guy (he’d simply refuse to pay a plumbing company installing his pool, or electricians, or construction contractor, and many would simply not bother to chase the money in court). Often times, they would sue, and eventually settle for a lot less. This may be the way to deal with insignificant small businesses, but it’s not the way to deal with Russia, China, Japan…

              I’m not sure Trump is the kind of an exemplary businessman that is capable of running a country.

              We’ll see; it is your election anyway. You’ll get exactly who you deserve, and will have to live with your choices for the next four years.

      2. Someone’s got to pull the cart for the ones like you that just want to ride along for free.
        I’m gonna bet you believe in this “income inequality” pushed by the libs. The “everyone deserves a good paycheck as long as they’re trying” load of crap.
        No one deserves an damn thing. Go out and learn a marketable skill and then you earn a paycheck. Not making enough? Learn a different skill that makes more. It’s all up to you how you want to do it. Don’t expect the Government to take care of you. They have no desire to do that. Their goal is to take care of themselves by creating legislation that stifles business opportunities so that they can then turn right around and pass more legislation to fix what they purposely broke. And all the uninformed voters look at them as saviors not even realizing that it’s a perpetual manipulation of their emotions. Always looking to be saved by the Government. They will never fix anything because then they aren’t needed. Relevance is king and no way in hell will they really ever fix a damn thing. And if they do, well…there’s more things to screw up to keep this “rigged system” afloat.
        Who would you trust more to go into business with?
        Trump or Crooked Hillary?

          1. With overpayments (bribes for future favor) poorly laundered through the Clinton Foundation from “speaking engagements” to corporations, foreign and domestic and foreign countries, allies and enemies alike.

          2. Yeah!!! With other people’s money. Against their will.
            If you’re alluding to Trump’s bankruptcies, he simply used the Chapter laws afforded to everyone. Two business failures out of how many hundred of successes? I’d take that any day over how our “Race-Baiter-In-Chief ” has failed this country so incredibly. How many trillions in debt are we because of him? But don’t worry, if Crooked Hillary actually pulls this off. You great grand kids’ kids will be footing the bill. All the while scratching their heads wondering just what the fuck you were thinking when you voted for her.

        1. There are plenty of clear numbers backing up claims of rising inequality in America. From WWII up until the 80s, the economic growth in the USA was roughly the same for all income brackets, doubling by early 70s. However, from 80s on, the average growth of economy in US has slowed considerably, and the worst part of it, vast part of that growth has been taken by the top 1% of population. Their income has grown by over 300%, while the lower 90% of the population saw growth below 50% during the 90s “dot-com boom”, and all the way down to 20% in the 2010s. The average economy has significantly slowed, but that didn’t prevent top management to reward themselves handsomely, at the expense of the 90% of the country.

          There is a simple explanation for exorbitant executive pay growth rates. Ever since the executive pay was made public by the laws, company boards have been competing with each other over out-rewarding their own CEOs. The process is simple: when CEO’s pay package comes up for review, the board looks at the average CEO pay in their industry, and rewards their own CEO above that average (usually 20 – 50%). The idea is to tell themselves, as well as their shareholders, and the world, that their own CEO is better and more valuable than the competition. No board wants to send a message that their CEO is worse (hence lower-paid) than others in the business (Jobs was the only one taking $1 per year in compensation). When everyone in the given industry does the same, they keep outbidding each other for CEO compensation, driving those packages sky-high, and that money has to come from somewhere, so the rest of the work force sees no income growth.

          1. It’s not a matter of “the 1%” taking, it a matter of gaining. You’re right that there’s a simple explanation, but it’s not because of making executive pay public. It’s because of GLOBALIZATION.

            Only one of the major U.S. Presidential candidates has been CONSISTENT over the past three decades:

            1. Your chart is simply NOT relevant for discussion on the economy in America and the relative gains within that economy. It is admirable that Asian middle class has grown so substantially during that period, but that chart actually supports the arguments against income inequality. In Asia, economic growth has obviously been distributed rather evenly across income brackets.

              In America, even though the economy has grown, practically ALL of the money that came from that growth has been taken by the top 1%, leaving bottom 90% with lowest middle-class growth rates in the developed world. That is NOT because of globalisation (remember, American economy still managed to grow); that is because the growth has internally been redistributed towards the top of it.

              Once could easily argue that such income distribution stifles growth, and it is easy to understand why. Lower- and middle-class has extremely low income-to-savings ratio; most end up spending everything they earn, and many have shortfalls that require sacrifices. When their income grows, their spending grows correspondingly. Wealthy 1% cannot possibly spend all they earn; when their income grows, their money doesn’t go back into the economy; it often piles up. This explains why the economy growth slows when income is redistributed to the top. Poor and middle-class people spend every dime they earn; rich people, having more than they need, hoard excess income, paralyzing that money and slowing growth.

              As for Trump, I’ll refrain from sharing my opinion on this clip (or his campaign). It is your election, you choose who you wish (and live with that choice for the next four years).

            2. The greatest benefactors of GLOBALIZATION following the end of the Cold War have been those like me who own capital and the poorest people in the third world.

              As capital has moved from the developed economies to the Third World in search of return and comparative advantage, the middle class in the United States and Europe have utterly failed to benefit.

              By the way, wealth is not a zero sum game, confused Lib. The pie is not a fixed size. Steve Jobs could tell you all about that if he were still here. Someone getting a lot, doesn’t mean the rest gets less. That’s not how it works, occupier.

              Wage stagnation has resulted in many Americans feeling left out of the new economy. On real terms (inflation adjusted dollars), wages are back to where they were in 1996, two decades ago:

            3. That is precisely what I’m arguing. American economy has grown, American workers are statistically working longer hours, American workforce is collectively putting more working hours into the economy than ever, and yet, their wages are still stagnating. Meanwhile, their bosses are earning significantly more and more than ever, even though their hours actually AREN’T any greater than 30 years ago. And, while the economy may have grown by 40% over the past 30 years or so, the executive pay has grown almost 300%.

              I am trying very hard to find an explanation exactly how did the executive pay deserve such amazingly high growth rate in America.

              Yes, we all know that wealth is not necessarily a zero-sum game, but in the absolute math of the economic growth in America, for executives to get paid significantly more than the economic growth, someone else had to be paid significantly less. Very simple math clearly demonstrates this. It is really not that hard to understand.

            4. “I am trying very hard to find an explanation exactly how did the executive pay deserve such amazingly high growth rate in America.”

              I think the explanation is simple: A good executive will find improvement in efficiency.

              As revenue increases due to increasing prices (inflation) and greater qty’s sold, or additional services or new products, that extra revenue now needs to pay expenses including the additional expenses.

              If at the same time he is able to increase the capacity of his organization with the same labor, then the additional revenue due to increased qty goes into his pocket and bonuses to key employees.

              Assuming he is able to keep the wages in line with inflation AND is able to reduce the labor force due to efficiencies and attrition, then a lot of money goes into his pocket.

              That is why you have self serving gas stations and self checkout counters at brick and mortar stores and why you have on-line shopping (including iTunes). All these increase efficiency and reward the executive at a much high rate than the labor force. (I wonder how many people Apple put out of work because of the efficiencies they have introduced into society?)

              Hence, increase in minimum wage = executive embracing robots = lowering employment = more people on the dole and more people voting for the party that gives the most handouts.

              However, those that have self worth, even while out of work, will favor getting a job over a handout. Encouraging all to get busy and work is good not only for those that already have self worth but is good for those that don’t. There is nothing better that a busy society at work regardless of their pay. We have many volunteers that are paid zero proof that happiness is not found by being on the dole.

            5. That explanation would be valid if the executive pay increase was commensurate with the gains in the economy (on the national level), or gains in the CEO’s own company, but it isn’t. Data shows that the executive pay continues to rise even for companies that are reporting losses. The board usually explains it away as “losses were nowhere near as bad as expected”.

              The problem is quite simple. Redistribution of wealth to the top (by appropriating ALL gains generated by the improved productivity, reduced cost, improved efficiency, etc) actually slows down the potential economic growth. If the CEOs allowed some of those gains to go back to the workers, those workers would end up spending it. The top 1% richest tend to hoard capital, which becomes dead. If you put that dead money into the hands of the middle class, they would spend it, generating demand for more goods, creating markets for new businesses to enter and new jobs to be made. This is quite simple. The idea is not to take that money away from the CEOs and give to the unemployed; it is to allow the workers to get a taste of their own improved efficiency and productivity. That way, everyone wins, including those CEOs. The economy gets a greater boost, and high tide lifts all boats.

            6. Let us not forget the productivity of the American worker. Over the past 30 years, all indicators are up: Americans are working more efficiently, putting in longer hours, there are more of them working than ever before, and consequently, the economy is growing. And yet, their wages are at the same level as 20 years ago (as you said). Can you explain why is that? Where did all that money that American economy earned go? It didn’t go to Asia, for sure; it was earned by those American earners, and was reflected in the economic growth. And it wend to their CEOs.

              The greatest prosperity of America happened between WWII and the 70s. At that time, the economic growth was roughly evenly distributed across the income brackets (as the economy grew, so did the income of poor, middle and rich people, by about the same rate). These were the decades of the most rapid growth in the US.

              Today, America has the same income inequality as it did during 1920s. Is it possible that anyone here is arguing that the 20s were good for the American economy and the middle class???

      3. Min wage is only for entry level jobs that give unskilled, poor and young folks opportunity to advance to “living wages”. Everyone with drive and developed skills quickly moves on to higher wages.

    1. After a fashion, yes, these sort of things do reward failure. As does, these days, the business entity of the corporation.

      Although the corporation was created with the admiral intention of being able to protect personal assets, it has become a tool/outlet that promotes bad decisions as it absolves CEOs, etc., of personal responsibility.

      So-called “golden parachutes” have only compounded this problem. There no negative consequences or personal accountability… except losing one’s position. But what does that matter if one is able to away with millions upon millions in severance compensation… even if one is an abject failure at what they were hired to do.

      Golden parachutes need to be tied to performance, profitability, or some some measurable standard. They are just flushing themselves further down the economic sewer with every executive “savior-of-the-month” they get suckered into hiring because they foolish believe they will save their company.

      It’s insane from a pragmatic business perspective. The people who can actually turn a company around are quite rare.

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