Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be paid her bonus for 2016 following the results of an internal investigation into the company’s handling of massive hack attacks that affected more than one billion of its users.
Yahoo General Counsel Ronald Bell is also resigning, the company said on Wednesday. He will not be paid any severance.
Yahoo, which is due to be acquired by Verizon in a $US4.48 billion deal later this year, said it had concluded that “certain senior executives did not properly comprehend or investigate” major security breaches suffered in 2014.
The company concluded back then that a state-sponsored actor had accessed certain user accounts, making off with user names, dates of birth, email addresses and other information. Yahoo did not publicly reveal the security breaches, which affected more than one billion user accounts, until the fall of 2016.
While Yahoo’s response was not sufficient, the company said on Wednesday that an independent committee did not conclude that there was”intentional supression” of the information.
The hacks at Yahoo caused Verizon to lower its offer to buy Yahoo by about $US350 million. The sale is expected to close this spring. Yahoo noted in its annual report on Wednesday that it spent $US16 million in legal fees and forensic investigation costs in 2016 in its efforts reviewing the matter.
Yahoo said in its annual report that it could face criminal penalties in connection with the incident, as various government agencies look into the matter. And the company said it is also 43 putative consumer class action lawsuits because of the hacks.
Mayer also said she will voluntarily turn down her annual bonus and equity grants for 2017 as a result of the incidents.
Here’s the statement Mayer made on her blog on Wednesday:
“As those who follow Yahoo know, in late 2014, we were the victim of a state-sponsored attack and reported it to law enforcement as well as to the 26 users that we understood were impacted. When I learned in September 2016 that a large number of our user database files had been stolen, I worked with the team to disclose the incident to users, regulators, and government agencies. However, 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.”
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