Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer scores 69% pay raise to US$42 million

SAN FRANCISCO - Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, just won a 69 per cent raise, bringing her total compensation for 2014 to US$42 million (S$55.57 million) and making her reportedly the highest-paid woman running a US company, said media reports on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old former Google executive was paid US$1 million in salary - but that's just the start, USA Today reported. Stock and one-time option awards heaped on an additional US$11.7 million and US$28.2 million respectively. Add in US$1.1 million in an incentive pay plan and US$28,065 in additional perks and you get to US$42 million.

But the San Jose Mercury News noted that part of the hefty pay raise stemmed from one-time incentives awarded when she joined Yahoo in 2012, but that were only vested in 2014.

The incentives were designed to make up for the Google stock she gave up when she left the search engine giant to take Yahoo's helm, but the value of the original award has ballooned with help from Yahoo's stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, which went public in the fall.

Mayer's 2014 pay tops what had been the best paid female CEO in the Standard &Poor's 500 up until this point: Marillyn Hewson, CEO of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, said USA Today.

The raise was awarded to Mayer even as Yahoo's revenue fell 1.3 per cent in 2014. Its net income rose 450 per cent to US$7.5 billion, but this was largely due to the massive US$10 billion gain on investment sales.

Mayer has been attempting to shift Yahoo from basic search into being more of a mobile and video destination. So far, the biggest successes have been finding ways to sell off lucrative pieces of the business including its stake in Alibaba. Investors are now eager for Yahoo to find ways to sell its stake in Yahoo Japan.

Shares of Yahoo are up 21 per cent over the past year and rose 25 per cent in 2014. The stock Wednesday closed down 2.4 per cent, to US$43.28.