Struggling Yahoo Will Pay the Already Super Wealthy Marissa Mayer Up to $70 Million. Why?

by Knowlton Thomas

Marissa Mayer is already rich enough to retire in pure luxury at age 37. As an early Google employee turned executive (hence some favourable stock options), she's worth a cool $300 million—and her husband, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, isn't exactly broke, either. 

Marissa also has a baby due in October, yet plans to take just two weeks off to celebrate its birth. So clearly she's not in this for the money; she's motivated by—or addicted to—an incredible ambition to work constantly and forever, no matter how deep her pockets become.

Yahoo, meanwhile, isn't a "rich" company. It's been mired in financial and other troubles for the past few years, sinking deeper into the quicksand every time to tries to make a move.

Put those two pieces together and you have to wonder why Yahoo is paying Marissa up to $70 million to take over as CEO of the company.

According to Reuters, new Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s compensation package could total more than $70 million in salary, restricted stock, and stock options over five years, based on a regulatory filing made by the company yesterday. She will earn $1 million base salary plus $42 million in stock options and other awars, as well as $14 million for forfeiture of compensation from Google, whom she left abruptly.

Wow. And we thought RIM's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, was overpaid at $10 million.

Previous Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's potential compensation was up to $27 million, but he didn't get it all when he was forced to resign after his botched resume was exposed. Before that, the foul-mouthed Carol Bartz approached $10 million in annual compensation before getting fired.

So Marissa is by far the highest paid CEO of Yahoo ever and hasn't even lifted a finger yet. She also has no experience whatsoever in this sort of grandeur strategic management so Yahoo's board is acting on blind faith.

It's going to be hard for Marissa to turn Yahoo around when she's already bleeding it dry.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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