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Marissa Mayer’s sweet $71 million pay package from Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer is up for a seriously big pay-day. Yahoo! has just filed its regulatory documents with the SEC, disclosing how much it will pay its newly appointed CEO. Mayer, who joined the company after leaving Google only a few days ago, will earn an annual salary of US$1-million.

According to the documentation however, she will earn a considerable amount of equity on top of her US$1-million annual salary.

This is how the money gurus at CNN broke it down:

Mayer’s pay package is by far the most lavish that the company has offered to its recent string of CEOs. On top of a US$1-million annual salary and US$2-million target bonus, the deal includes a rich combination of stock grants and options.

Mayer is getting a stock grant valued at US$14-million to compensate her for the Google pay she left behind when she resigned from her previous employer on Monday. Those shares will vest in stages through 2014.

Mayer’s extra cash will come from participating in Yahoo’s “executive incentive plan,” which provides equity awards based on performance goals (target awards). This means Yahoo! will provide Mayer with an extra 200 to 400 percent bonus of her annual salary this means should bring home US$2-million to US$4-million more per year.

According to CNNMoney the overall package “could be worth an eye-popping $71 million over the next five years” and could “top US$120-million if an extra batch of stock grants that she is eligible for comes through”.

Mayer will also receive a one-time US$30-million “retention award” that will vest over the next five years. One half of the award will be a “straight stock grant; the other half will be stock options with performance-based vesting criteria”. Essentially it’s a lot of money.

The new CEO already sent out her first memo to the team, which somehow found its way to the hands of the folks over at AllthingsD:

Privileged and confidential — Do not forward
Dear Yahoos!

I couldn’t be more excited to be here — thank you for the warm welcome over the past two days! I can’t wait to get to know more about Yahoo’s products, culture, and all of you. I’ve always had a deep respect for Yahoo! — I first experienced it as a student at Stanford in 1994 as “David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” — and I’ve been fan ever since. I’m incredibly honored to now be a part of the team and work with all of you. Yahoo! is an Internet icon — in terms of brand, reach, user following, in its products and service. There is an enormous amount of opportunity in front of us.

The company has been through a lot of change in the past few months, leaving many open questions around strategy and how to move forward. I am sensitive to this. While I have some ideas, I need to develop a more informed perspective before making strategy or direction changes. In the meantime, please do not stop. You are doing important work. Please don’t stop. If you have questions or concerns about whether to continue or not, please ask. However, with the exception of a few things that might heavily constrain us in the future, the answer is most likely: “Yes, keep moving.”

Companies are all about people and the companies with the best talent win. Joining was an easy decision, because the strength of Yahoo!’s talent and the whole team here is apparent. We will continue to invest in talent, so we can produce the most compelling and exciting user experiences anywhere.

In recognizing our team’s deep talent, we all owe thanks to Ross Levinsohn, for his leadership and direction as interim CEO over the last couple of months. Ross has done a terrific job for the company.

Looking forward, we need to continue Yahoo!’s tradition of bold innovation, encourage creativity, and ultimately inspire and delight users and advertisers.

Please come by my office in building D on the third floor and say hello. I cannot wait to hear your ideas for Yahoo!’s future.


Author | Mich Atagana

Mich Atagana
Mich started out life wanting to be a theoretical physicist but soon realized that mathematics was required. So, she promptly let go of that dream. She then decided that law might be the best place for her talents, but with too many litigation classes missed in favour of feminist... More

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