Marissa Mayer Set to Receive $186 Million for Failing Because This Is How Corporate America Works

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer continues to stack up piles of cash, despite her veritable failure to rescue the company from a pile of its own rot. After numerous setbacks, including two massive security breaches and dwindling ad revenue, Mayer is set to make about $186 million as a result of the company’s sale to Verizon, new SEC documents show.


This enormous sum of money—the actual transfer of which is contingent upon shareholder approval, a move the New York Times described as “widely expected”— includes shares she already owned, outstanding share options, a $23 million “golden parachute,” cash payments, and medical benefits, according to the documents.

The sum does not include Mayer’s salary or bonuses over the past five years, which reportedly add up to more than $200 million alone. Shareholders will vote on the company’s sale and Mayer’s new compensation package in June. (We’ve reached out to Yahoo for comment on the deal, and we’ll update if we hear back.)

Mayer’s $186 million payout is much higher than her initially reported golden parachute of $23 million. It’s all the more absurd when one considers the missteps Yahoo has made under Mayer’s watch—the company, for example, disclosed it suffered two separate cyber attacks in 2013 and 2014. The Justice Department later alleged that the second attack, which affected more than 500 million users, was linked to the Russian intelligence agency FSB. The disclosures led to a drop in the Verizon deal price, from $4.8 billion to $4.5 billion. Then there was Mayer’s penchant for overspending, and the slow, sad decline of Yahoo’s core business. (While she didn’t exactly cause the latter slide, she didn’t do much to stem it, either.)

Of course, we’ll always have her Zamboni ride, as well as an absurdly extravagant and incredibly tone-deaf roaring ‘20s themed holiday party. Here’s hoping the next person who fucks up this badly isn’t rewarded with a nearly two hundred million dollar payout.

Technology editor at Gizmodo.



How do I get in the secret CEO club? Is this something you have to be born into? I want to have absolutely no responsibility and get millions when I fail.

I’ve always said that CEO is the easiest job in a large company.

If any large companies are looking for a new CEO, I’ll do it and you only have to pay me 1 million when I completely tank your company.