Yahoo chief Mayer, back from having a baby, hires London Google exec

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, on her first day back from a two-week maternity leave, announced yesterday that she has recruited senior Google advertising exec Henrique de Castro as Yahoo!'s COO.

De Castro: awaiting work visa

Meantime de Castro will be working at Yahoo!'s office in London, said the San Jose Mercury News - because he does not have a U.S. work visa. The company said he will transfer to Yahoo!'s office in California as soon as he can obtain one.

He is Mayer's most high-profile hire since Mayer took over the top job in July and will be one of Mayer's top lieutenants, responsible for sales, operations, media and business development at Yahoo!.

The 47-year-old de Castro will be eligible for stock and options valued at $56 million, in addition to a $600,000 annual salary, a potential bonus of $540,000 and a $1 million cash bonus to make up for compensation he will give up by leaving Google.

That's just $3 million less than the $59 million package that Yahoo! gave Mayer last summer.

Karsten Weide, who follows Internet companies for the IDC technology research firm, commented , "I don't think it's imprudent. I think she's going to have a hard time getting top talent without handing out big bucks." .

A native of Portugal, de Castro joined Google in 2006 after working at Dell and McKinsey. He was at one point vice president of Google's "media, mobile and platforms" business - where he helped Google pass Yahoo! in selling online display advertising.

In a Yahoo! press release , de Castro, said, "This is a pivotal point in Yahoo!'s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead. I can't wait to join Marissa and the team and get started."

Mayer herself said in the release , "Henrique is an incredibly accomplished and rigorous business leader, and I'm personally excited to have him join Yahoo's strong leadership team. His operational experience in Internet advertising and his proven success in structuring and scaling global organisations make him the perfect fit for Yahoo as we propel the business to its next phase of growth."

Mayer also mentioned the hire on Twitter , noting that she was making the announcement "on my first full day back in the office" after giving birth to her son on Sept. 30. The 37-year-old Mayer had said she would take "a few weeks" of maternity leave and intended to continue doing some work throughout that time. As good as her word!

CEO Mayer will give her first quarterly earnings report next week.

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