Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive officer, said that she’ll give up her annual bonus and equity grant this year — citing the theft of info for more than 1 billion user accounts that happened when she was CEO.
Yahoo’s disclosure last year of two massive user-data breaches that occurred in 2013 and 2014 led Verizon to lop $350 million from the purchase price for Yahoo’s internet businesses, valuing the deal at about $4.48 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.
“When I learned in September 2016 that a large number of our user database files had been stolen, I worked with the team to disclose the incident to users, regulators, and government agencies,” she wrote in a post Wednesday on Yahoo’s Tumblr. “However, I am the CEO of the company and since this incident happened during my tenure, I have agreed to forgo my annual bonus and my annual equity grant this year and have expressed my desire that my bonus be redistributed to our company’s hardworking employees, who contributed so much to Yahoo’s success in 2016.”
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Mayer’s annual base salary is $1 million. As of Aug. 24, 2016, she held Yahoo stock options and restricted stock units valued at $86.4 million, according to company SEC filings.
In 2015, Mayer received a total compensation package of $36 million, which included $14.5 million in stock grants, $19.9 million in options, security services for which the company paid $544,061 and a bonus of $1,125 for being among the inventors named in a pending patent application.
Once the Verizon deal closes, Yahoo will rename itself “Altaba Inc.,” and Mayer will resign from Altaba’s board along with six other current Yahoo board members. The new Altaba will primarily be an investment-holding company whose major asset will be shares of China’s Alibaba Group.
Mayer is expected to join Verizon at least for an interim transition period, with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong assuming oversight of the combined AOL-Yahoo group.
Under the revised terms of Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo’s operating businesses, Yahoo will be responsible for 50% of any cash liabilities incurred following the closing related to non-SEC government investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Liabilities arising from shareholder lawsuits and SEC investigations will continue to be the responsibility of Altaba following the deal closing.