Yahoo's COO Gets Fired, Leaves with Full Pockets

Marissa Mayer has apparently fired Henrique de Castro

By on January 16th, 2014 08:39 GMT

Henrique de Castro, Yahoo Chief Operating Officer, is leaving the company, a SEC filing reveals. The exec was hired back in October 2012 by Marissa Mayer and was granted a huge employment contract. It looks like now she’s also the one to let him go.

According to sources, de Castro got $600,000 (€440,860) yearly base salary and an annual bonus that could double the sum, as well as $36 million (€26.45 million) in stock grants. Furthermore, he got $1 million (€734,800) for forgoing compensation from Google and $20 million (€14.7 million) in stock to replace his shares at Google that would vest over several years.

Now that he is leaving the company, it looks like he’ll get more than half of the restricted stock units on top of all other cash piles he was offered upon employment.

In turn, however, Yahoo didn’t get much, which explains Mayer’s decision to let him go. Yahoo’s advertising business didn’t really grow under de Castro, but rather declined in the last quarter.

Originally, it wasn’t clear why de Castro was leaving, as the SEC filing didn’t reveal much, but an internal memo obtained by Re/Code makes it obvious that it was Mayer who fired him.

“During my own reflection, 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 endeavors,” Mayer wrote to her employees.

The leadership of the operating organization shifted upon de Castro’s departure. Dawn Airey, John Devine, Ned Brody and Rose Tsou will from now on report straight to Marissa Mayer, while Kathy Savitt will lead Yahoo’s media and editorial functions.

Other reporting changes are also going to happen, although Mayer didn’t detail those in her memo. It’s rather clear, however, that Mayer wants to “increase alignment and sharpen [Yahoo’s] media and product focus.”

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