Yahoo CEO Mayer Forfeiting Yearly Equity, Bonus Because of Massive 2014 Data Breach
March 1 (UPI) — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will forego any annual equity award this year because of the massive security breach at her company in 2014, according to documents filed Wednesday.
The Yahoo board also voted to rescind her 2016 bonus, which has usually been around $2 million, because of the breach, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
Mayer’s contract stipulates that her equity award is not to be less than $12 million per year, on top of her yearly salary of $1 million.
In 2015, her total pay was $36 million with no performance-related bonus.
The 2014 breach, which affected data belonging to at least 500 million users, was only discovered by the company late last year. The company said it was linked to someone working for a foreign government.
“Failures in communication, management, inquiry and internal reporting contributed to the lack of proper comprehension and handling of the 2014 security incident,” Yahoo said in its SEC filing, after an independent committee’s review.
In a post on Yahoo-owned Tumblr, Mayer said, “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.”
The company also announced that Yahoo general counsel Ronald S. Bell, who’s been with the company since 2012, would resign without receiving a payout.
Verizon is in the process of buying Yahoo’s Internet business for $4.48 billion. On Feb. 21, the companies agreed to reduce the purchase price by $350 million and to share various legal and regulatory liabilities from the 2014 breach — as well as another from August 2013, which affected 1 billion user accounts.
Yahoo will spin off is ownership stakes in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba into a company called Altaba. The 15 percent stake is worth about $35 billion. Part of Altaba will include Yahoo’s 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan.
Mayer plans to leave Yahoo’s board when the sale was finalized. No announcement has been made on whether she will have a role at Verizon. If she doesn’t stay with Yahoo, Mayer will receive $55 million — mainly in stock and options — according to an SEC filing.
On Wednesday, Yahoo said about 32 million user accounts were accessed with forged cookies in the last two years. In its annual filing, it said some of them can be connected to the “same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the 2014 breach.”