In meetings last week, Yahoo's board decided it won't be spinning off its valuable shares of Chinese e-commerce gargantuan Alibaba. The company will instead measure a plan to sell off its own core business, as CEO Marissa Mayer told CNBC in a call this morning and the company revealed in a press release today. It's a reverse spin, everybody, watch out!
The Verge explains that the company hopes to maybe sell itself, parting ways with what we know as Yahoo — the media stuff and ad-tech stuff and all that — and turning the OG Yahoo into a defacto holding company for those precious Alibaba shares. Additionally, by executing a reverse-spin, "Yahoo is effectively prohibited from actively seeking out buyers," they note, "But it still has a fiduciary duty to engage with any serious buyers that approach with an offer. It will likely be a year or more before the process is complete."
"A separation from our Alibaba stake, via the reverse spin, will provide more transparency into the value of Yahoo’s business" Re/code quotes Mayer.
The maneuver, though, could leave the CEO without a seat at the Yahoo table, and meanwhile the Chronicle performed a sort of corrective to inflated reports of a possibly hefty severance package for Mayer. It would still promise to be rather sizable, but it isn't the $157.9 million in cash and stock it would have been at the end of 2014, which was nearer figures largely circulated than fact.
According to the research firm Equilar, a package would now be worth about $59.3 million in cash and stock. That's mostly due to Yahoo's drop in value, but also Yahoo equity guaranteed to Mayer by her contract has already been partially vested, Equilar says.
It's still a larger payout than most: Intuit CEO Brad Smith's was $54.95 million in July according to filings with the SEC, LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner's was $43.82 million this month last year, and former-head of eBay John Donahoe was $23 million also at the end of last year.