New Yahoo! CEO - with $27 M Comp Package - Champions Company's Largest-Ever Layoff

Yahoo! Headquarters in Sunnyvale, California

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson - who joined the company in January with a guaranteed $27 million annual compensation package set to increase by at least $1 million annually - has announced his first big move at the Silicon Valley internet company: he's laying off 2,000 employees, or 14% of the total workforce.

This round of cuts comes about three months after Thompson inked his multimillion compensation package. Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney - not exactly someone to regularly call attention to excessive executive pay - pegged the amount as "unusually high."

Although Thompson promised "a bold, new Yahoo" in a written statement this morning, he's resorting to a tired - and not very effective - tactic to try to achieve that goal: this will be the company's sixth mass layoff in four years, and the deepest one to-date. He's the third CEO during that time period to unsuccessfully try to grow the company's revenues by slashing jobs:

  • February 2008 - 1,000 jobs (under founder and former CEO Jerry Yang)

  • December 2008 - 1,500 jobs (under Yang)

  • April 2009 - 700 jobs (under former CEO Carol Bartz)

  • December 2010 - 600 jobs (under Bartz)

  • April 2011 - 100 to 150 jobs (under Bartz)

  • April 2012 - 2,000 jobs (under Thompson)

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson

And the layoffs, which were first reported yesterday by AllThingsD, may not be the last: Wednedsday’s round is “just the tip of the proverbial iceberg” and more are to come, the technology website said.

Not that Thompson has much to worry about - at least financially - should his grand, albeit not very original, plan not take. If history is any guide, an "exit" from Yahoo! would be softened considerably by a generous golden parachute. Former CEO Bartz left the company in September 2011 with a $14 million severance package after a "murky record, at best" marked by an expletive-laced send-off when the company's board of directors fired her.

Yahoo! reported a net profit of more than $1 billion on revenue of nearly $4.4 billion last year.

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