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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

In six months at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has killed telecommuting, focused Yahoo’s products, made just a smidge more Googlish, given employees swish new iPhone 5s, cleaned executive house, hired a new chief marketing officer, and announced plans to chop about 80 percent of Yahoo’s mobile apps.

For that, she’s getting a $1 million bonus from the board.

There is one more little detail, however. In that six months under Mayer, Yahoo’s stock price has jumped from $15 to $23, adding over $17 billion in market value to the still-slumbering purple giant, which remains a top-five traffic destination on the web.

As veteran Yahoo follower Kara Swisher notes, most of that may be due to the rocket-like growth of China’s Alibaba group, which Yahoo owns a significant chunk of. But some of it is due to the hope that Mayer has brought to the company — and the markets — that Yahoo will not remain largely irrelevant and will actually become a technology force again.

Here are the details from Yahoo’s SEC filing:

The Compensation Committee approved 2012 annual cash bonuses for Marissa A. Mayer, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, and Ken Goldman, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Mayer received an annual cash bonus of $1,120,000 for 2012, under the Company’s 2012 annual cash bonus plan for senior executives (the “2012 Executive Incentive Plan”). As provided in the 2012 Executive Incentive Plan, Ms. Mayer’s bonus was determined based on the Company’s performance relative to goals established by the Committee in early 2012 for ex-TAC operating margin and revenue [and] ex-TAC growth rate for 2012 (in each case as defined in, and subject to certain adjustments as set forth in, the 2012 Executive Incentive Plan). Ms. Mayer’s 2012 bonus was pro-rated based on her mid-year date of hire.

The $1 million bonus is just a drop in the bucket, however, as Mayer’s total overall compensation for her first year as Yahoo CEO could top $60 million. Much of that is compensation for lost stock options due to leaving Google, and much of the rest is in performance bonuses and a retention bonus if she stays at least five years.

My guess is that most of us would stick around five years for the kind of massive $30 million retention award that forms a big chunk of the total potential first-year compensation of $60 million.

Unfortunately, most of us couldn’t do the job that Mayer seems, at least right now, to be handling with aplomb.


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