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New Yahoo chief gets plump pay package

11:00 AEST Fri Jul 20 2012
AFP
Marissa Mayer. (Getty)
Marissa Mayer. (Getty)

Yahoo's new chief Marissa Mayer will be paid $1 million a year and be eligible for up to $40 million in stock and bonuses if she hangs on to the post.

Yahoo has racked up five bosses in the past year, two of them interim chiefs who filled in after dismal ends to stints by Scott Thompson and Carol Bartz.

In addition to a $1 million annual salary, Mayer, who is pregnant and will go on just two weeks maternity leave, will get $2 million yearly in bonus cash if Yahoo hits financial performance marks.

Mayer — who was named to the job on Monday — this year will also get $12 million in stock grants and options that will vest over the coming three years, according to an SEC filing.

The 37-year-old will get a "one-time retention award" totaling $30 million worth of stock and stock options to vest during a five-year period.

Mayer will be award another $14 million worth of stock to make up for compensation she forfeited by leaving Google this week to take charge of Yahoo!.

Mayer — one of Google's first employees — is now arguably the most prominent woman in Silicon Valley and a rare female CEO at one of America's largest firms.

After the end of this year, Mayer will also be eligible to enjoy benefits generally available to other top Yahoo executives, such as 20 days of vacation annually.

At Google, Mayer was responsible for local and geographical products including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search for desktop and mobile.

She joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee "and led efforts for many of Google's most recognisable products, including the development of its flagship search product and iconic homepage for over 10 years," according to Yahoo.

The appointment "signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world's largest consumer Internet brands," Yahoo! said.

No sooner was Mayer named chief executive of Yaho! than she announced she's pregnant. In doing so, she ramped up a lively ongoing debate in the United States about working moms.

Mayer took to Twitter to say she's expecting "a new baby boy" in October with partner Zack Bogue, a venture capitalist.

"I like to stay in the rhythm of things," she later told Fortune magazine.

"My maternity leave will be a few weeks long, and I'll work through it," she added, as if to reassure Yahoo! shareholders that motherhood won't get in the way as she settles into her new corner office.

Yahoo — which Tuesday reported a four percent drop in quarterly profits to $226.6 million — is struggling in the dog-eat-dog world of Internet technology.