Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says that she wants her annual bonus and equity stock grant redistributed to employees, following the security breaches that happened in 2013 and 2014 but came to light only in 2016.
In a Tumblr post, the executive made the announcement, saying that she’s holding herself accountable for the 2014 hack, which occurred during her term.
“I am the CEO of the company and since this incident happened during my tenure, I have agreed to forgo my annual bonus and my annual equity grant this year and have expressed my desire that my bonus be redistributed to our company’s hardworking employees, who contributed so much to Yahoo’s success in 2016,” she says.
2013 Yahoo Data Breach
The first of the two attacks that targeted Yahoo took place in 2013, but this was disclosed later in December 2016.
Affecting more than 1 billion users, this is considered to be the largest incident in the history of cybersecurity.
Stolen personal information of the compromised accounts have been reported to include names, birth dates, email addresses, contact info, hashed passwords, and security questions along with their corresponding answers.
2014 Yahoo Hack
The other security breach in question transpired in 2014, which Mayer particularly mentions in her announcement, and it was the first of the two that was made public in September 2016.
Described as a state-sponsored attack, it affected over 500 million users. Just like the 2013 hack, it also stole names, phone numbers, passwords, and email addresses, to name a few.
Since this was the first to emerge, it was said to be the biggest case in cybersecurity at the time, but needless to say, the 2013 incident trumps this one in terms of its immensity.
Interestingly enough, these made the headlines during the time the company was in talks with Verizon for acquisition. While the deal was still set to push through, the carrier started seeking a $350 million discount, whittling down the original $4.8 billion offer.
Yahoo Annual Report Sings A Slightly Different Tune
Aligning with Mayer’s announcement, Yahoo’s annual report also says that she agreed to forgo her annual equity grant, but when it comes to her 2016 bonus, the Tumblr post may have been worded differently.
“In response to the Independent Committee’s findings related to the 2014 Security Incident, the Board determined not to award to the Chief Executive Officer a cash bonus for 2016 that was otherwise expected to be paid to her. In addition, in discussions with the Board, the Chief Executive Officer offered to forgo any 2017 annual equity award given that the 2014 Security Incident occurred during her tenure and the Board accepted her offer,” the report reads.
At any rate, the executive expresses her desire to have not only her equity grant but also her bonus to be redistributed to Yahoo staff.
Blame Falls On Yahoo Chief Lawyer
Despite Mayer taking responsibility of the whole incident and making up for it with her pay, Yahoo’s head lawyer Ron Bell is bearing the brunt of it all.
According to Recode, Bell was accused of not doing his job properly, and as a result, he had to step down.
“[T]he Committee found that the relevant legal team had sufficient information to warrant substantial further inquiry in 2014, and they did not sufficiently pursue it,” Yahoo says via its annual report.
More than that, it mentions that “no payments are being made to Mr. Bell in connection with his resignation.”
To sum things up, Mayer forgoing her annual bonus and equity grant may be regarded as her admitting her fault with the data breaches, but still, Bell is arguably having it worse.
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