Don’t Be Surprised That Yahoo’s New Male CEO Is Making Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary

It’s an all-too-common scenario for male executives and their female counterparts.

Don’t Be Surprised That Yahoo’s New Male CEO Is Making Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary
Photo: Unsplash user Raphael Koh; App Photo: Getty Images/H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock

Yahoo has announced a new CEO to fill the chair left empty by Marissa Mayer. Once the sale to Verizon finally goes through, former IAC top executive Thomas McInerney will take the company’s top seat—as well as a premium salary. McInerney will get a base salary of $2 million, plus an additional $2 million bonus if he hits performance benchmarks, according to an offer letter. In contrast, Mayer had a base salary of $1 million. That’s double the pay for the same job, an all-too-common scenario for male executives compared to their female counterparts.

Of course it could be argued that McInerney needed Yahoo to sweeten the deal, because lording over Yahoo’s remains is arguably one of the least-envied jobs in tech. However, it could also be said that his job will be substantially easier than Mayer’s, who faced the difficult task of turning around a flailing company.

Women earning less than their male counterparts is nothing new. When Mary Barra took over at General Motors three years ago, she was offered a salary half that of the guy that came before her—and it made headlines. Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin was paid a $900,000 base salary that was substantially higher than his predecessor Christine Day’s base of $700,000. There is hardly a single woman among the top 10 highest-paid CEOs worldwide.

A look at the top 10 CEOs in the U.S. from 2015 shows a wide discrepancy in the pay packages of male and female CEOs. That year, Mayer was the lone woman among the most highly paid American CEOs, coming in at number 5. While she will be leaving the company with a sweet $23 million exit fee, it seems not even she is immune to wage discrepancy.

About the author

Ruth Reader is a Brooklyn based writer for Fast Company who covers startups, company culture, and financial technology.