Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will get a $55m payoff if the company’s auction of its Internet operations ends in a sale that ousts her from her job, according to an Associated Press report in the New York Times.
Th report says the payout was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It would consist of cash, stock awards and other benefits if she is forced out within a year after a sale, said the NYT article.
Yahoo’s board is still evaluating takeover offers. Many believe the company will decide to sell its well-known brand and Internet businesses, including an email service and news sections focused on sports and finance. Verizon has been reported as a likely purchaser but Britain’s Daily Mail group is thought to be interested along with a private equity firm
Ms. Mayer, a former Google executive, has been largely unsuccessful in her efforts to turn around Yahoo’s fortune, said the NYT article. “The company’s long-running slump has deepened during her reign, making her compensation — and whether she remains after a possible sale — a topic of great interest.”
Eric Jackson, is managing director of SpringOwl Asset Management, a Yahoo shareholder that has been critical of Ms. Mayer’s leadership.
“I don’t think this management team has done anything to merit a huge payout,” the NYT quoted him as saying.
Yahoo declined to comment beyond its filing. Last year, Ms. Mayer received a compensation package that was valued at nearly $36m under the S.E.C.’s rules. In the filing, Yahoo’s board said it was more like $14m.
Last week Yahoo reached a truce with the activist investor Starboard Value, an outspoken critic of Ms. Mayer’s that has been pushing her to sell. Starboard’s chief, Jeffrey C. Smith, is now one of three Yahoo directors .