The chief operating officer Yahoo fired in January made $96 million for his 15 months in the role, according to the New York Times’s analysis of the company’s latest proxy statement. Marissa Mayer on the other hand, his boss and the current CEO, made $62 million.
The fired COO, Henrique de Castro, got $58 million in severance pay thanks to a big increase in the company’s stock price while he was at the company. Yahoo’s board of directors said in the proxy statement that if the stock hadn’t risen, that package would have only been worth $17 million. He also got $11 million in salary and stock-based compensation last year and $39 million in 2012. He would have gotten more if the stock options had been fully vested when he left.
Marissa Mayer, the company’s female CEO, made a good deal less than that. For 2012 and 2013, she got just $62 million in compensation. Of course, she could see a good deal more from the millions in shares and options that will either vest if she stays for a long time or would be partially paid out if she were to leave early.
Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But what happened to Mayer has happened to others. The first female CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, will be paid less than half this year of what her outgoing male predecessor will make, or $2.8 million versus his $7.3 million. She will also make less than what he will be paid as a senior advisor to the company after he leaves — $4.68 million. The company has pointed out that her long-term compensation package is $10 million, a 60 percent increase over the previous CEO. But as with Mayer, that will only come to her if she stays for a certain period of time well into the future. She also came to the job with more than 30 years of experience at the company, while her predecessor had no car industry experience.
These two women’s pay packages illustrate a trend: The highest-paid female executives at S&P 500 companies still make 18 percent less than their male counterparts, on average. For example, Heather Bresch, CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan, makes 33 percent less than the average chief executive pay in her sector. Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup, makes 24 percent less than the food industry average. Women also still make up a small number of chief executives, accounting for less than 15 percent of CEOs at the largest companies.