Marissa Mayer Will Make $186 Million on Yahoo’s Sale to Verizon

Yahoo declined to comment on Ms. Mayer’s compensation, apart from the information included in its legal filings.


Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s president and chief executive, right, with Sarah Buhr, a TechCrunch reporter, at an awards show in San Francisco on Feb. 6.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Most of Ms. Mayer’s payout is based on the 208 percent increase in Yahoo’s stock price since she left Google for Yahoo in 2012. Although Yahoo’s core businesses of email, news and search continued to tread water under Ms. Mayer’s leadership, long-held investments in Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce company, and Yahoo Japan, an affiliated company controlled by SoftBank, increased in value, driving up Yahoo’s stock price.

The sale to Verizon will leave those two investments, along with other assorted assets like a patent portfolio, in a new company called Altaba. The management of that company will seek to unlock the value of its $44 billion stake in Alibaba and its $9.5 billion stake in Yahoo Japan while minimizing a $15 billion tax bill that Yahoo estimates would be due on an outright sale.

Yahoo said in its filing that Altaba is more likely to sell its Yahoo Japan stock than sell its Alibaba shares, but it gave no further details. Altaba will be led by Thomas McInerney, the Yahoo director who led the Verizon sale process.

The filing also disclosed that Yahoo invested in Snap, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies, buying 2.3 million shares in a March 2015 fund-raising round that priced the shares at $10.86. After a stock split that doubled the number of shares Yahoo owned, Snap went public in March. Snap shares are now trading at $21.20, valuing Yahoo’s stake at $98 million.

Yahoo also owns stakes in Hortonworks, an enterprise software company; Paperless, a digital event invitation service; and SeatGeek, a ticket reselling service. The company valued Excalibur, its portfolio of patents that are up for sale, at $740 million.

The 2014 data breach prompted Yahoo and Verizon to renegotiate their original deal, which was struck in July. Eventually, they agreed to cut the price by $350 million.

Correction: April 27, 2017

An article on Tuesday about money that Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, stands to receive if shareholders vote to sell the company’s internet businesses to Verizon Communications misstated the amount of Snap stock owned by Yahoo. The company owns 4.6 million shares valued at $98 million, not 2.3 million shares valued at $49 million.

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