The chief executive of search engine giant Yahoo is to receive an annual salary of just $1 (53p) for the next three years – but his pay will be topped up with an annual bonus of up to a million shares in the company.
The three-year deal agreed by Yahoo’s directors with chief executive Terry Semel was revealed in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Semel has also been given a stock option to buy six million Yahoo shares at exercise price of $31.59 as a retention incentive.
The huge value of the Yahoo chief’s bonuses and options puts his nominal salary into context. Figures from specialist research firm Equilar, reported in a survey of top executive salaries by a US newspaper, put Semel’s total earnings at $56.8m last year – a sum that included restricted stock and the estimated value of Semel’s share options.
Semel’s total earnings had dropped sharply from $131.2m in 2004.
The earnings figure dwarfs the $19.3m total package scooped by IBM chief executive officer Sam Palmisano last year, which was revealed in SEC finings in March.