Marissa Mayer, a former high-profile Google executive who was brought on as Yahoo’s CEO in 2012 to architect a turnaround that largely failed to materialize, says she’s staying at the company despite its nearly $5 billion acquisition by Verizon.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything that we’ve achieved, and I’m incredibly proud of our team,” said Mayer in a statement posted Monday. “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”
It’s unclear exactly how long Mayer will continue to remain at Yahoo. Early indications suggested she would be departing the company amid the deal, taking home a severance package of about $57 million. It’s possible that Mayer is staying on board only to see through the Verizon acquisition, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and isn’t expected to close until early 2017.
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Verizon is spending $4.8 billion on Yahoo’s core assets, leaving behind a roughly $41 billion package of Yahoo investments and patents, including a stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Those remains will be turned into a publicly-traded investment company with a new name after the Verizon deal closes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
For Mayer, the acquisition marks the end of a four-year effort to breathe new life into a once-mighty web pioneer. Yahoo, which made its name as a sort of Yellow Pages for websites, was once the most well-known online destination, with a value of over $125 billion at its peak. But it has since been usurped by Mayer’s former employer, Google, as well as Facebook, which now control about 64% of the online advertising industry between them. Yahoo had shown some signs of life under Mayer but was criticized for having an unclear strategy, among other issues. A closely-watched attempt to sell off its $32 billion stake in Alibaba in a complicated tax-free transaction failed to get advance blessings from regulators, making an acquisition all but certain by the end of last year.