Yahoo top boss Carol Bartz, who started running Yahoo at the start of this year and set up the company for the massive Microsoft Bing partnership, and her team of executives have sold millions of dollars in stock …. not making all of its investors happy.
As reported by the Guardian, Carol Bartz has already dumped $2 million-worth of Yahoo stocks after being with the company for only 9 months. She was given options on five million Yahoo shares when she started as an incentive to lead the company.
According to regulatory filings, Bartz has made two major stock sales in the past nine months – more than $830,000 (£500,000) in March and a further $1.14m in June.
The 61-year-old former boss of the software company AutoDesk, who also receives a salary of $1m and is eligible for an annual bonus worth up to $4m, was granted options on 5m shares of Yahoo stock when she took the top job at the beginning of the year.
The news does not fit with the image she has tried to portray since taking over at the company earlier this year, hired as a pragmatic and efficient replacement for Yahoo’s co-founder, Jerry Yang.
Investors are upset and questioning her loyalty with the company, which includes Eric Jackson of Ironfire Capital, one of the companies’ outspoken shareholders. In an email sent by Jackson, he stated that, “Two million already cashed out for Bartz is too much, too soon.”
A Yahoo spokesperson defended the Bartz action with a statement that these share sales are necessary for tax purposes: “We are told that they were re-acquired to satisfy tax withholdings.” Other top company executives followed Bartz’s lead, with general counsel Mike Callahan selling $1.35 million in stock this year.
Shareholders are concerned with the current troubles faced by Yahoo and may be losing faith that this can be overcome, despite its agreement in handing over the control of the Yahoo search engine to Microsoft.