After months — years? — of rumors about whether Marissa Mayer would leave Yahoo or be fired, we've gotten our answer. Mayer will be replaced once the company's deal with Verizon is finalized and will leave her role with a $23 million severance package. To anyone who isn't the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, that is a lot of money, even though it is quite a cut from the $55 million Mayer was originally predicted to leave with as of last summer.
But here's where things start looking pretty bad. Along with the news about Mayer's departure, Yahoo revealed who will be stepping into her shoes as the new CEO: Thomas McInerney, the former head of media and internet company IAC. According to McInerney's offer letter, which was made public yesterday, he will make a $2 million base salary per year, not including an annual bonus (he's eligible for $2 million) and "long term incentive reward" of as much as $6 million.
That base salary is double the amount that Mayer took home annually. Her offer letter, released when she took the job in 2012, outlined $1 million in base pay plus an annual bonus. According to Fortune, the total amount that McInerney is expected to rake in during his first year (that is, his base pay plus bonus) is still more than Mayer made this past year. Yahoo did not offer comment on the record about the discrepancy.
Much has been said and will continue to be said of Mayer's leadership of Yahoo. She was unable to turn the company around and the massive Yahoo hacking incident occurred on her watch. But she's also faced a very real glass cliff. Would the world have had as many opinions about a man in Mayer's position? Probably not.
The wage gap between McInerney and Mayer's salaries only highlights this further. For not only is McInerney not going to be tasked with the same "transform the company" role that Mayer took on, he will be monitoring what Fortune says is essentially a mutual fund — what Yahoo (now renamed Altaba) will turn into when the acquisition is complete. While it is important to note that investment companies do not have equity, which added to Mayer's total compensation, the difference in base pay is concerning.
Whether or not you were a fan of Mayer's, this is an issue that goes far beyond her role and Yahoo at large. This is just one more example of a man being valued more than a woman in the same position. It's 2017, and it's time for this to end.
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