How Marissa Mayer Messed Up Negotiating Her Yahoo CEO Pay

Vanity Fair just came out with
a long profile of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
It’s written by Bethany McLean, famous for doing some of the best reporting on Enron.

One fascinating tidbit from the story that was news to me, is that Mayer left a lot of money on the table when she negotiated her compensation for the Yahoo CEO job.

McLean reports:

Mayer’s negotiation about her compensation was slightly odd. The board granted her a rich package: an annual salary of $US1 million with a bonus of as much as $US2 million, plus a total of $US56 million in restricted stock and options. Mayer was unwilling to use any of her own money to buy more Yahoo stock, even though doing so would have increased her upside dramatically. Says one person, she was obsessed not with the reality of her pay but with making sure that what showed up in the filings would lead people to believe that she would earn more than she had at Google. “Some C.E.O.’s care about money, some care about metrics, some care about toys,” this person says. “She cares about public perception.”

Since Mayer became Yahoo CEO, the company’s stock price has more than doubled. So she’s missed out on a lot of money by missing out on upside. That said, her bank account is fine. The package was still worth more than $US200 million, and she was already worth something like $US300 million thanks to her early Google work.

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