Yahoo's Marissa Mayer poaches key Google exec as COO

Henrique de Castro, who led Google's Partner Business Solutions group, stands to make $60 million or more as Mayer's top lieutenant.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
2 min read

On her first full day back in the office following the birth of her baby boy, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced a new delivery. Henrique de Castro, a top sales executive at Google, will soon arrive at Yahoo as its chief operating officer.

Henrique De Castro delivers a keynote address at the Dmexco conference in September 2011. YouTube/Screenshot by CNET

De Castro, 47, leads publisher relationships at Google after previously serving as president of media, mobile and platforms, according to All Things D, which first reported that Mayer was close to poaching her former colleague.

The move could cost Yahoo more than $60 million, according to regulatory filings. In addition to his $600,000 base salary, de Castro will be granted up to $36 million in stock based on how long he stays at Yahoo and how well the company does while he's there. He's also getting $1 million to make up for salary he would have made at Google had he stayed, plus another $20 million in stock to make up for Google stock that hasn't vested yet.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO James Martin/CNET

"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.

For his part, de Castro praised Yahoo's "high-quality content, its renewed focus on outstanding user experience and its massive reach."

"This is a pivotal point in Yahoo!'s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead," he said in a statement. "I can't wait to join Marissa and the team and get started."

Prior to joining Google, de Castro spent two years at Dell, where he managed European sales and business development. He also served as a consultant for McKinsey & Co.

Yahoo's stock was flat in after-hours trading.