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Top Yahoos cash in $23.9 million

The search engine company's CEO and other top executives cashed in more than $23.9 million in stock during 1997.

Yahoo (YHOO) top executives cashed in more than $23.9 million in company stock during 1997.

The search engine company's president and chief executive, Tim Koogle, sold 576,843 shares during the year, and netted $12.5 million, based on the stock's closing price of $69.25 per share on December 31, 1997, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the end of the year, Koogle had $26.1 million worth of exercisable options, and an additional $49.3 million, based on the year-end value of the stock, that have not yet been vested.

Since the end of the year, however, the company's shares have appreciated to 83-3/8, up 20 percent.

Other executives cashing in included Jeffrey Mallett, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer Gary Valenzuela. Mallett exercised 150,000 shares, making $3.6 million, while Valenzuela exercised 225,000 options, making $5.5 million.

In 1997, Koogle received a $15,000 raise, which increased his base salary to $165,000. Mallett, who was promoted during the year from vice president of business operations to chief operating officer, was granted a $25,000 raise, which boosted his salary to $150,000. Valenzuela made $145,000 in 1997, up from $123,750 in 1996.

Farzad Nazem, the company's chief technology officer, exercised 60,000 shares, taking in $1.5 million, while Anil Singh, vice president of advertising sales, exercised 37,502 shares, for $921,000.

Last month, cofounder Jerry Yang reduced his stake in the search engine company, which has seen its shares consistently rise recently.

A filing with the SEC said Yang reduced his stake to 12.8 percent, or 5.7 million shares. A year earlier he held a stake of 14.9 percent, or 5.85 million shares, on a split-adjusted basis, meaning that his latest sale amounted to a 2.5 percent reduction in his holdings.