Yahoo's Mayer in line for $23m payout

James Pearce
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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer could earn up to $23 million if she is kept-on once Verizon completes its takeover of the Internet firm

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is set to earn a $23 million payout if her employment is terminated once Verizon completes its $4 billion takeover of the internet company.

In a filing, Yahoo said Mayer would be given a “golden parachute” should the company decide to remove her once the deal is completed, likely in Q2 of this year.

The $23 million figure is much lower than the $55 million reported in filings last year, but Yahoo has been hit by a number of controversies since Verizon reached a takeover agreement last year. This is because $21 million in stock options and other awards has declined since the deal was first struck.

Former Google executive joined Yahoo in 2012, promising a major turnaround at the firm which never really materialised. Last year, she expressed an interest in staying with Yahoo.

The Verizon takeover will see the US telco buy its core internet business, while the rest of Yahoo’s unit – including the company’s holdings in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba – will be span off into a new company called Altaba.

Altaba, which was created in January, will be led by former IAC chief financial officer Thomas McInerney. He will be joined by current Yahoo employees Alexi Wellman, who will be global controller, and DeAnn Fairfield Work, who is joining as chief compliance officer.

According to Fortune, McInerney's base salary will be $2 million - twice that of Mayer's current package.

The appointments mean Mayer could follow Yahoo into Verizon, similar to AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, who stayed with the internet firm when it was acquired by Verizon in 2015.

Mayer has previously said publicly: “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”

Just weeks after the deal was agreed, Yahoo revealed it was subject to two separate cyber attacks, in 2013 and 2014, which were amongst the biggest ever publicly disclosed data breaches.

Verizon managed to negotiate a $350 million discount from the takeover price, although reports this week claim the telco asked for a $925 million reduction. This was rebuffed by Yahoo executives, according to the reports.