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Yahoo CEO Mayer's pay package worth more than $59M

Posted: July 20, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: July 20, 2012 6:00 a.m.
 

NEW YORK (AP) — Yahoo is giving its new chief executive Marissa Mayer a compensation package worth more than $59 million over the next several years.

Yahoo Inc. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that Mayer will receive an annual salary of $1 million. She's also eligible for a $2 million bonus, and $12 million in restricted stock and stock options that will vest over the next three years.

Meyer, who is 37 and was lured away from Google Inc., will also receive $30 million in the form of a one-time retention award if she stays at Yahoo for 5 years.

Yahoo says it will also give Mayer restricted stock valued at $14 million to partially compensate her for forfeiting money she would have received at Google. Those payments will be staggered through 2014, with $4 million due this year.

Mayer's salary and maximum bonus this year will be capped at $1.4 million. That's because she went to work at Yahoo Tuesday, with just five-and-half months left in the year.

Google Inc. never disclosed Mayer's compensation during her 13-year career at the Internet search leader.

But Mayer struck it rich when Google went public in 2004. She joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employees and accumulated stock options that yielded a jackpot the company's stock soared from its initial public offering price of $85 to nearly $750.

Nailing down a precise value of Mayer's Yahoo pay package is difficult because so much of the compensation is tied to her ability to lift Yahoo Inc.'s sagging stock. She could pocket a much larger windfall if Yahoo's shares soar during her tenure or make less if the stock remains in a funk.

The estimated value of executive pay packages can also be calculated in dramatically different ways. After factoring in future grants of restricted stock and stock options due Mayer under her employment agreement, Yahoo said her annual compensation will be worth about $20 million annually, or about $100 million during the next five years that the company hopes to retain her as CEO.

The typical CEO of a public company in the U.S. made $9.6 million last year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm.

Yahoo's previous — and short-lived — CEO, Scott Thompson, had a $27 million pay package. Thompson's salary and bonus were the same as Mayer's, but Yahoo dangled more incentives to lure her away from Google to become Yahoo's fifth CEO in five years.

Thompson stepped aside in mid-May amid an uproar over misleading information on his resume. Other Yahoo CEOs stepped aside or were shoved aside after failing to revive the company's revenue growth.

Yahoo is counting on Mayer to bring the same drive, managerial skills and knack for innovation that she displayed while helping Google build some of its most popular products.

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