Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer handed her 2016 bonus to employees in the wake of two major data hacksReuters
Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer is to walk away with $186m (£145m) once the $4.48bn sale of Yahoo to US telecom company Verizon is completed.
Mayer, 41, will be stepping down from her role as chief executive of Yahoo, which she has held since July 2012, when the sale is finalised this June.
The huge payout represents an about-turn for Mayer and Yahoo, as just two months earlier it was announced that her 2016 bonus pot would be given to employees in the wake of two huge data breaches suffered by Yahoo in 2013 and 2014. In all, it is thought that over one billion user accounts were compromised.
Mayer said in March 2017: "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". Yahoo also said at the time that the CEO's payout following the Verizon sale would be just $55m.
The inflated windfall, which will increase Mayer's $500m net worth by approximately 17%, comes from Yahoo shares already owned, as well as outstanding share options due to vest before the June sale, cash payments, medical benefits and a "golden parachute" of over $23m, according to a regulatory filing made by Yahoo on 24 April.
Mayer will receive the nine-figure payout if Yahoo shareholders vote for the sale to Verizon to go ahead on 8 June. Shareholders are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of the sale.
Although Yahoo's share price has more than tripled, to $48, since Mayer took the helm in 2012, the growth has largely been attributed to the rise in value of Yahoo's investments in the Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba rather than the ageing internet search company's own success.
Verizon's purchase of Yahoo was put under strain in 2016 when it was revealed that two computer hacks in 2013 and 2014 has affected up to 1.5 billion Yahoo users; the news saw Verizon lower its offer for the company by $350m. An investigation later found that Yahoo executives did not "properly comprehend or investigate" the security breaches.
Once the sale is complete, Verizon plans to combine Yahoo with its AOL subsidiary to create a new company called Oath.