Fired Yahoo COO De Castro made more than Marissa

Henrique De Castro has sailed away from the company on one of the biggest golden parachute packages ever. And apart from that, his total compensation was reportedly larger than even Yahoo CEO Mayer's.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
2 min read

"Even by Silicon Valley standards, his pay was stratospheric."

That's the word on just-canned Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro from The New York Times Bits blog, which cited compensation research firm Equilar in reporting that De Castro will walk away with somewhere from $88 million to $109 million for 15 months of work.

That's because in her first big hire as Yahoo's new CEO, former Googler Marissa Mayer enticed him away from her alma mater with a fat contract and what Forbes has called one of the biggest golden parachute packages ever.

"Henrique is an incredibly accomplished and rigorous business leader, and I'm personally excited to have him join Yahoo's strong leadership team," Mayer said in a statement at the time.

A year and a half later, her tune had changed. She handed De Castro his pink slip, bidding adieu in perhaps rather clipped fashion in an explanatory memo to staff: "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."

Bits wonders aloud about the high-priced poaching engineered by Mayer (also saying that neither Yahoo nor De Castro had commented on its report):

Mr. de Castro, who was hired away from Google, was hardly a tech superstar. He had a spotty track record at the search giant. And less than a year before he left, he was demoted from managing media and platforms to an amorphous role working on "special projects" on a team of one. Although he was promoted back into a bigger role several months later before jumping ship for Yahoo, it was not an auspicious sign for someone who was going to help turn around Yahoo.

Still, if nothing else, he seems to be no dummy when it comes to negotiating pay packages. Forbes calculates that during his brief tenure at Yahoo, De Castro pulled down $244,000 a day.

And however slighted he may have felt by his recent send-off, one thing might help ease the woe. Bits reports that his total compensation (apart from the additional goodies in the parachute package) was $39.2 million -- higher than Mayer's $36.6 million.