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Marissa Mayer’s Verizon Payday: CEO Owns Yahoo Stock Worth More Than $200 Million

Variety logo Variety 4/25/2017 Todd Spangler
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Marissa Mayer is expected to depart Yahoo following the closing of Verizon’s $4.5 billion takeover in June — but she’s going to cash out big time, as she currently owns stock worth more than $200 million.

As of April 3, the Yahoo CEO owned 4.49 million shares of common stock, according to an SEC filing by the internet company Monday. At the most recent closing price of $48.15 per share, that’s worth about $216 million. Mayer’s total holdings includes 2.88 million options and 17,490 shares of restricted stock units exercisable within 60 days of April 3.

Mayer has disclosed plans to exit Yahoo’s board following the sale. However, according to several reports, she is not going to join Verizon under the newly formed Oath division that will merge the AOL and Yahoo brands. Oath will be run by AOL chief Tim Armstrong, and Verizon will announce other members of its management team Tuesday, USA Today reported.

Mayer, a former top Google exec who took over as Yahoo’s chief in 2012, is reaping an enormous windfall from her tenure at the company despite failing to reverse the decline of Yahoo, one of the first big internet brands.

Under Mayer’s leadership, Yahoo experienced two unprecedented security breaches affecting more than 1 billion users accounts — with the 2014 incident traced to Russian spies. Last month, Yahoo’s board said it would not pay an annual bonus to Mayer because of the hacks, and she also is not receiving an equity grant for 2017. The massive breaches led Verizon to cut $350 million from the purchase price for Yahoo’s internet businesses.

Yahoo shareholders will vote on Verizon’s acquisition on June 8 at a special meeting at the Santa Clara Marriott, according to the filing. Mayer, along with other Yahoo execs, will receive accelerated vesting of all stock options and other equity awards under the terms of the Verizon sale.

Separate from Mayer’s stock holdings, under the previously disclosed severance agreement with Yahoo she would receive $3 million in cash and is eligible for $15,000 worth of outplacement services if she is terminated or leaves for good cause following the Verizon sale.

Yahoo also disclosed in the filing Monday that it owns 4.6 million shares of Snap, the maker of Snapchat. Those are worth $97.5 million at Snap’s Monday closing share price.

Once the Verizon deal closes, Yahoo will rename itself “Altaba Inc.,” and Mayer and six other current Yahoo board members will step down. Thomas McInerney, former CFO of Barry Diller’s IAC, will take over as CEO of Altaba, which will primarily be an investment-holding company whose major asset will be shares of China’s Alibaba Group.

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