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$58m down the drain as Yahoo no.2 becomes a pain

By David Williams, Fri 17 Jan 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Yahoo's chief operating officer and number two in command Henrique de Castro has been fired after only 15 months on the job, but his reported severance package should help sweeten the blow of unemployment.

De Castro, 48, will receive an estimated US$109m from his brief stint at the company, based on salary, bonus, stocks and his compensation for decamping from Google in 2012.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to end de Castro's employment with the company after he could not raise falling advertisement sales.

Bloomberg has reported that de Castro's payout was estimeated by Equilar a compensation researcher.

De Castro's employment was supposed to help Yahoo attract more profitable advertisers after steadily losing out to Google and Facebook in recent years.

Yahoo Inc. declined to comment on the reasons for de Castro's abrupt exit. Mayer didn't name his replacement.

Mayer wrote: "I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company. I appreciate Henrique’s contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

"Overall, I’m confident that the leadership team, our direction, and these changes will enable even more successful execution."

It is likely Mayer will be questioned over what went wrong when she presents the company's financial results for the fourth quarter on 28 January.

De Castro's severance package includes US$20 million of restricted stock that wasn't scheduled to fully vest until late 2016. He also will receive US$1.2 million to cover the next two years of his salary. His rights to another batch of restricted stock valued at US$9 million also have vested.

Mayer is unlikely to face any major backlash from this failed appointment as Yahoo has not issued a warning to suggest it missed it's revenue forecast for the period ending in December. Which asks the question, why was De Castro relieved of his position? - As he must of been close to hitting the targets set by Mayer.

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