Yahoo Board Nukes CEO Marissa Mayer’s $2 Million Bonus

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be awarded her 2016 bonus, which could have been worth up to $2 million. The penalty will hardly cost her, though, since she is one of the highest paid female executives in the world.

The board of directors nixed her reward after investigating the massive hack that affected more than 500 million users.

Mayer owns over 2,186,023 shares of Yahoo stock, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing (SEC). She is also likely to receive nearly $141 million after a merger with Verizon is finalized, regardless of the board of directors investigations, reports Fortune.

Official review reportedly discovered some of the highest people at the company, including the information security team and legal staff, knew an attacker in 2014 was stealing backup files that contained people’s personal data.

“But it is unclear whether and to what extent such evidence of exfiltration was effectively communicated and understood outside the information security team,” the company’s board said Wednesday in a securities filling, adding there is no conclusive evidence there was a deliberate attempt to suppress important information.

SEC, the federal agency that enforces business regulations, filed petitions for certain official documents in December to decipher whether Yahoo properly notified investors and the public after the large-scale theft.

The massive breach the board investigated was separate from the one Yahoo announced in December. One billion accounts were hacked. It’s believed both of the cases are the two largest cyber thefts ever.

Mayer’s original contract with Yahoo (considered a negotiating success for the former Google executive) was worth a total of $365 million over five years.

Ronald S. Bell, Yahoo’s general counsel, also resigned as of Wednesday and will not receive monetary reward in the form of a severance package. (RELATED: Yahoo’s Christmas Cheer Is A Little More Humble This Year)

Around the time of Mayer’s hiring, Yahoo was ranked the number one web property, meaning it was once one of the most-frequented sites on the Internet.

But soon after, Yahoo (which was arguably already in a state of decline prior to Mayer’s arrival) started to nosedive due to many obstacles, including both of the massive breaches, along with a number of other debacles.

Verizon was in the middle of working out a deal to acquire Yahoo when several of these significant blunders occurred. The two parties went back and forth after more details emerged of the hacking incidents, with Verizon threatening a price cut in December that ultimately led to $350 million being sliced off the top of the original $4.83 billion deal. Some considered the initial agreement the “saddest $5 billion deal in tech history.”

Yahoo’s problems won’t end after the acquisition is complete. It faces “43 putative consumer class action lawsuits, four stockholder derivative actions and one putative stockholder class action” due to the security breaches.

Authorities are still conducting their own investigations. Yahoo is cooperating with the “federal, state, and foreign governmental officials,” which includes the SEC, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and two state attorneys general.

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