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Yahoo Bid Expensive Farewell To Former CEO Bartz

By John Letzing Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) bid an abrupt and awkward farewell to former Chief Executive Carol Bartz last year, and the parting didn't come cheap. Yahoo disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday that Bartz, who was removed in September, received $3 million in cash severance as a result of her firing as well as accelerated vesting of nearly 802,000 company shares in the form of restricted stock units and options. Yahoo shares closed Friday at $15.57, up 4 cents. In addition, Bartz received a cash incentive bonus that was guaranteed in her employment contract of nearly $478,000. Bartz also received a payment for unused vacation days, Yahoo said. Last year, Bartz's total compensation was nearly $16.4 million. A veteran technology executive who had spent more than a dozen years as CEO at design software maker Autodesk Inc. (ADSK), Bartz took the CEO role at Yahoo in January 2009. She was tasked with mounting a dramatic turnaround at the faded Internet giant, an effort that ultimately was seen to have fallen short in many ways. Bartz preemptively notified Yahoo employees of her firing in September before it was publicly announced in a blunt email to employees, and later complained publicly about the way her dismissal had been handled by Yahoo's board. Yahoo hired former eBay Inc. (EBAY) executive Scott Thompson in January to succeed Bartz. Thompson is paid a base salary of $1 million, and is eligible for a $2 million annual bonus. He received stock grants this year worth $16 million, in addition to "make whole" pay intended to compensate him for bonus and stock awards left behind at eBay. Bartz isn't the only high-ranking Yahoo executive to leave the company recently. Yahoo announced the departure of Blake Irving, its former chief product officer, earlier this month. Irving, who will officially leave Yahoo on April 30, was entitled to total severance of nearly $4.9 million in cash and stock as of the end of last year, Yahoo said in its regulatory filing. -By John Letzing, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-8230; john.letzing@dowjones.com

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