Some heads were bound to roll at Yahoo following the massive data breach controversy, but is blame being placed where it should be?
The data breach occurred back in 2014 and affected hundreds of millions of Yahoo users. When news finally broke out in 2016, is caused major uproar and Yahoo made headlines worldwide, engulfed in a firestorm of criticism.
The company has been trying to ride the storm ever since and it recently agreed to an amended deal with Verizon, in which Big Red will acquire Yahoo's core business at a lower valuation because of the data breach. As the dust is starting to settle, it's time to take some action as well, however not all agree with the outcome.
CEO Marissa Mayer Docks Her Pay
On Wednesday, March 1, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took some responsibility for the data breach and said she would dock her pay to make amends. More specifically, Mayer said she would give up a cash bonus from last year and a stock award for this year, reportedly worth $14 million in total, to make up for the severe mishap that occurred under her watch.
"I am the CEO of the company and since this incident happened during my tenure, I have agreed to forgo my annual bonus and my annual equity grant this year and have expressed my desire that my bonus be redistributed to our company's hardworking employees, who contributed so much to Yahoo's success in 2016," says Mayer.
Who's Really Taking The Fall For The Yahoo Data Breach?
While some might see this as a humble and commendable gesture on Mayer's part, others argue that it's just a façade and others - mainly Yahoo's lead attorney, Ron Bell - suffer the more serious consequences.
Yahoo wrapped up the investigation conducted by an independent committee, which concluded that the legal team has enough information to inquire further on the matter back in 2014, but "they did not sufficiently pursue it."
This basically places the blame on the legal team for not doing its job well enough. Following this conclusion, Bell resigned on Wednesday.
Recode points out that most people within the company believe that the CEO, along with the board, should have assumed most of the responsibility for the hack, not the company's head lawyer.
Indeed, Mayer's announcement stirred a whole new wave of controversy as many found it unfair for Bell to take the fall in this matter. Vijaya Gadde, chief legal officer at Twitter, is just one of those who are on Bell's side.
I don't know what happened at Yahoo but I know it's easy to blame the lawyers. I also know that Ron Bell is a good lawyer. https://t.co/gMZEslD2qe
— Vijaya Gadde (@vijaya) March 1, 2017
Others echoed Gadda's stance and left pro-Bell comments, agreeing that Bell is a good lawyer and should not be the one taking the blame for the hack.
Former Yahoo executive Scott Moore also took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the matter, arguing that Bell is a good man and being in charge of security was not among his attributions as a lawyer.
Long story short, many believe that Bell is the unfortunate scapegoat who has to take the fall for the mishaps of the management in this whole Yahoo data breach scandal. Considering that Mayer gets her pay docked, while Bell is leaving the company, the price Bell is paying does seem higher.