Bloomberg News

Yahoo’s New CEO May Have Compensation as High as $27 Million

January 10, 2012

(Updates with an analyst’s comment in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson may receive compensation of as much as $27 million, including salary, potential bonus, restricted shares and other forms of pay.

Thompson, formerly president of EBay Inc.’s PayPal, will get a base salary of $1 million and a possible annual bonus of as much as two times that amount, Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said in a regulatory filing.

Thompson is tasked with turning around a company that has struggled to vie with Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, and Facebook Inc., the leader in social networking. He’ll oversee a strategic review that began after the board ousted former CEO Carol Bartz, and he’ll need to weigh the possible sale of Yahoo’s stakes in Asian companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

“That seems unusually high,” Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., said of Thompson’s compensation during an interview on “Bloomberg West.” “That said, you know, you are taking him away from a very successful company. You’re putting him in a risky situation.”

Other compensation includes an equity grant with a target value of $11 million, a one-time “inducement grant” of $5 million, a cash bonus of $1.5 million and restricted stock units that carry a grant-date value of $6.5 million.

Bartz’s Pay

He succeeds other CEOs who have backgrounds outside Internet advertising. Bartz, who was ousted in September after less than three years, previously ran Autodesk Inc., a San Rafael, California-based maker of design software. Yahoo lured Bartz in 2009 with a compensation package that the company valued at $47.2 million. That figure was mostly stock options and restricted stock that didn’t immediately become available.

Another predecessor, Terry Semel, was a Hollywood executive hired in 2001 to help turn Yahoo into a media company. He resigned in 2007 and was succeeded by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

Yahoo fell less than 1 percent to $15.52 at the close today in New York.

Dana Lengkeek, a Yahoo spokeswoman, declined to comment on Thompson’s pay.

--Editor: Tom Giles, Nick Turner

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan Robertson in San Francisco at jrobertson40@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net YHOO US <Equity> EBAY US <Equity>


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