Yahoo revealed that its CEO Marissa Mayer's pay for 2015 got a significant cut, but still left her a hefty amount to take home.
The executive got nearly $36 million in total compensation, down almost 15 percent from the previous year's $42 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 29.
Her base salary remained at $1 million, with most of the cuts coming from her stock option awards estimated to be valued at $9 million. This was largely the result of a 15 percent drop in Yahoo stock value over the past year. Stock value rises or falls depending on the profitability or failure of a business.
Given all the noise about Mayer's inability to turn her company's fortune around as revenue and profits continue to shrink, her compensation may still be too high. Comparatively, Apple CEO Tim Cook's salary of $10.3 million in 2015 is a far cry from Mayer's $42 million in the same year even as Apple was operating more profitably.
While her reported pay was $36 million, the Yahoo chief executive actually brought home an amount close to $14 million or just about 39 percent of what was reported because Yahoo's financial performance fell short of the projected goals.
The filing also disclosed that Mayer and other Yahoo executives decided to give up their bonuses in 2015.
Marissa Mayer is getting a lot of attention not only because her tenure at Yahoo may soon be over, but because history could remember her as the person who could not prevent the downfall of the great Yahoo, some analysts observe.
Other industry insiders are seeing hopes in Yahoo, but drastic moves may have to be explored. Sue Decker, a respected business executive who could have been Yahoo CEO, offered some unsolicited advice for the beleaguered Internet company.
Decker said in a CNBC interview on April 29 that Yahoo was involved in so many things without focusing and winning in one or two areas. She mentioned Google's dominance in search and Facebook's social niche, despite the two companies' interest in other areas like video and messaging.
Decker said that the road ahead will be tough for a change in leadership. But it must be done, with Yahoo going private again or becoming part of a much larger company in order to stay focused.
"I hope the next owner can do something to revitalize the spirit of the core things that made Yahoo very, very unique and create a distinction in consumers' minds about why they love Yahoo still," Decker said.
If Mayer is out of the picture as a result of the sale of the company, she could still receive a huge payout of about $55 million. The severance package includes restricted stock units and options and $3 million in cash.
Photo: Eirik Solheim | Flickr