Marissa Mayer’s reign saw security breaches, declining market share and falling revenues.

What price for presiding over record breaking security breaches, poor business decisions, falling market share and revenues? About $186 million, actually, if you happen to be Marissa Mayer, the outgoing CEO of former Internet titan, Yahoo.

Despite Marissa Mayer’s veritable failure to turn Yahoo profitable in the five years since she took charge, she still looks set to reap a multi million dollar payout once the Internet company’s sale of its core business to Verizon is completed. That is, as long as current shareholders agree to it. 

The huge sum, which it is  proposed will consist of a combination of various payments, has been disclosed in a 429-page document lodged with the US Securities and Investment Commission (SEC).


Soon to be former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaking in 2016


How does that work then? 

The scale of the payout probably says more about the state of corporate America than it does about Mayer personally. That said, her tenure at Yahoo raises questions as to quite why she deserves $186,000,000.

Mayer has endured numerous setbacks while being at the helm of Yahoo including record breaking security breaches and collapsing revenue from advertising. While many industry commentators had previously speculated that Mayer would probably receive a handsome payoff for her service while at Yahoo, no one really seems to have been all that ready for the size of the deal, especially as she is after all losing her job.

The golden parachute deal doesn’t include money that Mayer has already received over the last five years. That figure alone adds up to a reported $200 million. Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

A cloud looms in Mayer’s silver lining

But it’s not all good news for Mayer. In light of the scale of the security breaches that at one point  threatened to derail the Verizon’s takeover, Mayer did lose her bonus for 2017. The figure was apparently close to $2 million. It’s anyone’s guess just as to how much of a toll that has affected her on a personal level. 

High Flier

Mayer joined Yahoo back in 2012 and was one of Google’s earliest recruits. Her hiring was deemed a major coup for Yahoo who were already struggling to adjust the changing landscape of the online world. Unfortunately, Mayer’s reputation suffered hit after hit as she oversaw a number of poorly (in hindsight, anyway) construed purchases of other tech ventures such as Tumblr, and also the already mentioned catastrophic security breaches. 

How low can you go?

While paying over $4 billion may seem like a huge amount of money for Verizon to have splashed out on a failing company it’s a sign of just how far Yahoo has fallen. Yahoo was once an internet titan. In 2008, Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for almost $45 billion. Ouch

Earlier this month Verizon said it would combine its AOL subsidiary and Yahoo into a new business called Oath. No, seriously, going forward the name is Oath. That at least will not be something Mayer need concern herself with.