The Yahoo board sets annual performance goals for executives, and their pay depends on how closely they hit those targets. Marissa Mayer’s failure to hit expected levels of performance meant that $900,000 was shaved off her bonus and $12.4 million taken away from her stock awards, due to Yahoo’s struggles in 2014, writes David Goldman for CNN.
Missed targets see pay docked
2014 revenue was equal to 92% of the $5 billion performance target set by the board, while the company attained 93% of the $1.5 billion target for adjusted profit. As a result Marissa Mayer received only 55% of her $2 million target bonus, taking home $1.1 million. She also received just 69% of a possible $40 million in stock awards, taking home $27.5 million worth of options and grants.
Had the company hit its targets, Mayer’s pay packet would have risen to $55 million. Despite not attaining set goals, the Yahoo board was full of praise for Mayer and her work. “Ms. Mayer provided strong leadership overall to the company,” the board said in a proxy statement. “She significantly improved the company’s reputation and revitalized the company’s employee base.”
Marissa Mayer was also praised for growing Yahoo’s mobile revenue, increasing the pace of innovation and negotiating a deal to replace Google as the default search engine on Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
Marissa Mayer’s pay packet boosted by Alibaba holding, one-time stock options
The poor financial performance in 2014 was outweighed by Yahoo’s strong stock performance since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in 2012. Shares in Yahoo have tripled in the three years since, due in large part due to the company’s stake in Alibaba. If the company stock price had stayed at the same level, Mayer would have earned $17.1 million last year.
Her paycheck this year was higher than normal due to a number of one-time stock options and signing bonuses which matured in 2014, boosting Marissa Mayer’s earnings by 68% from 2013. Should Mayer remain at the company her pay will dip back down to around previous levels.
Marissa Mayer has come under pressure from activist shareholders such as Starboard Value LP due to her inability to revive Yahoo’s core business, despite nearly three years in charge. However she survived a recent storm when not a single investor filed proposals for a leadership change, and she looks set to continue in her post.