Yahoo heaps a hefty bonus on Marissa Mayer

After just six months on the job, the young tech CEO scores $1.1 million in cash from the beleaguered Internet giant she's trying to revive.

By Aimee Picchi Mar 7, 2013 1:10PM

Marissa Mayer on NBC News' 'Today' show on Feb. 20, 2013 (© Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)Yahoo (YHOO) really, really likes her. 


Marissa Mayer, the 37-year-old chief executive of the one-time Internet high-flier, has received a $1.12 million cash bonus for just six months of work, according to a regulatory filing.


The reason? Mayer met Yahoo's goals for revenue and operating margins, triggering the bonus, even though she joined the company only in July from rival Google (GOOG). 


Mayer's compensation is sure to be closely watched, given that she's one of the highest-profile young tech CEOs around. When she was appointed at Yahoo, she disclosed that she was pregnant, providing inspiration to working moms eager for similar corporate achievement. 


Since then, she has courted controversy. After giving birth in September, she took what many criticized as an overly short maternity break, deciding to take just a week or two of leave, which some observers said would set an unrealistic goal for other working families. The U.S. is one of the least generous countries for paid parental leave, ranking it along with countries such as Liberia and Papua New Guinea, according to The New York Times.


Mayer next enraged many working parents with her decree that all Yahoo employees had to come in the office, or quit. Some called her telecommuting ban "ridiculous" and "awful," but supporters point out that her main goal is to revive Yahoo, not to provide an example for working moms. 


"[T]he Yahoo! board hired Marissa Mayer -- the actual person, not a feminist exemplar -- to run the company," Lisa Miller wrote in New York magazine.


So far, investors have given Mayer high marks for her tenure as CEO. Yahoo's stock price has surged, jumping 46% from her first day on the job through yesterday. And the company in January reported improved results, with revenue rising for the first time in four years and exceeding analysts' expectations. 


If she continues to outperform the company's goals, Mayer could receive a bonus of up to $2 million this year, according to the filing. 


But far richer paydays could be ahead. Mayer could receive $50 million in compensation over the next few years, according to Bloomberg, including $12 million in restricted stock units and stock options and $30 million in one-time retention awards. 


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