Yahoo CEO Mayer gives up annual equity, bonus over mishandling of secuirty breaches
By April Kirstin Chua
Yahoo punishes CEO Marissa Mayer and its general counsel for mishandling the unprecedented data thefts that happened in the previous years. That situation led to the breach of personal information of almost 1 billion active users and have cost Yahoo millions in damages and lawsuits.
On Wednesday, Yahoo concluded its investigation on the security breaches and found that Mayer's management team reacted passively to the breach that was discovered in 2014. With this information, Mayer won't be receiving her 2016 annual bonus and her 2017 annual equity award. Ronald Bell, general counsel for Yahoo, also resigned after the announcement, without severance pay.
"The relevant legal team had sufficient information to warrant substantial further inquiry in 2014 [with the initial discovery of 26 compromised user accounts], and they did not sufficiently pursue it," Yahoo said in a statement. Mayer expressed her thoughts on the judgment and claimed responsibility for the security breaches. She affirms Yahoo's determination on the case and wishes that her bonus will be redistributed to its employees.
At the time of the 2014 security breach, Yahoo only notified 26 people and it wasn't only until September 2016 when it notified 500 million users that their personal data and information may have been stolen. Yahoo then revealed, three months after, it had uncovered a separate breach in 2013 that affected 1 billion users. More than 40 lawsuits have been filed seeking damages for the hacks.
Per the 10-K filing with the SEC, Mayer's annual base salary is $1 million with the addition of her Yahoo stock options and restricted stock units that amount to $86.4 million. She also received a total compensation package of $13.9 million, last 2015, as an investor in a pending patent application. Following the finality of the Verizon deal, Yahoo will be renamed as Altaba Inc. and will serve primarily as an investment holding company with the shares of China's Alibaba Group. Mayer will also by then resign as CEO together with the six Yahoo board members.