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Ex-Yahoo CEO to get big pay-off

carol bartz YahooCarol Bartz was, by all accounts, rather surprised to be told in a phone call on Tuesday that her services were no longer required by online media company Yahoo.

“I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board,” the former CEO wrote in an email to employees.

If CNN’s calculations are correct, her sadness should be eased somewhat by a generous severance package comprising millions of dollars.

Some of the severance payments are linked to Yahoo’s stock performance over the next twelve months, stock which incidentally jumped in value following her departure. No doubt Bartz had bitter-sweet feelings on hearing that news.

“Bartz pulled down a base salary of $1 million per year as CEO of Yahoo, and piled up tens of millions more in stock grants and cash bonuses,” CNN’s Julianne Pepitone wrote on Wednessday.

Bartz had more than a year left on her contract when she was, as Yahoo put it, “fired without cause.” Kicking her out before her time was up meant that she was entitled to a hefty pay-off, and according to Pepitone, there’s a fair amount of cash involved. “Bartz’s contract gives her a lump sum of $3 million, plus a pro-rated 2011 bonus that will add an additional $1 million to $2 million to the coffers,” she writes.

The stock grant payouts could total somewhere in the region of $5 million. On top of that, if Yahoo stock is performing well at the end of next year, Bartz will also be able to cash in around five million shares.

Even though she must be feeling more than a little disgruntled at the way she was unceremoniously dumped by the Sunnyvale-based company, she must surely be hoping it goes on to bigger and better things in her absence.

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