Sweet Deals for Future Former Yahoo Employees

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-02-20 Print this article Print

Less than a week after laying off 1,000 employees, Yahoo is doing what it can to keep its remaining work force from fleeing for greener--or perhaps Googler--pastures, by instituting retention bonuses and souped-up severance packages, in the event that they don't want to work for Yahoo's new landlords.

So, exactly how sweet are the severance packages? In a word: Very.

According to the SEC filing, employees who are fired "without cause" or who wish to leave for "good reason" within two years of a control change at the company are entitled to:

  • Continuation of the employee's annual base salary, as severance pay, over a designated number of months following the employee's severance date. The number of months will range from four months to 24 months, depending on the employee's job level.
  • Reimbursement for outplacement services for 24 months following the employee's severance date, subject to a maximum reimbursement that ranges from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on the employee's job level.
  • Continued medical group health and dental plan coverage for the period the employee receives severance pay.
  • Accelerated vesting of all stock options, restricted stock units and any other equity-based awards previously granted or assumed by the Company and outstanding as of the severance date, unless otherwise set forth in the applicable award agreement for grants or awards made after Feb. 12, 2008.

In fact, about the only entity this won't be a sweet deal for is Microsoft. If its bid is successful and Yahoo's famed talent scatters (as some suspect they will), Microsoft will indeed be stuck with the bill. Frankly, with severance packages this generous, using a "control change" as a catalyst to find a new job would be infinitely more appealing. Perhaps this was the whole point from the get-go?

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