Terry Semel lost $6.2 million working for Yahoo in 2007, but Sue Decker made almost $15 million

Any Yahoo can tell you that working at the troubled Web giant doesn't pay. But for former CEO Terry Semel, it really didn't. Last year, he made negative $6.2 million, Docu-Drama notes. The accounting oddity, uncovered in an SEC filing, has to do with stock awards he forfeited when he left the company last year. Don't weep for Semel: He still owns half a billion dollars in Yahoo stock, and has sold plenty, too. What shareholders may find more upsetting are the left-and-right raises Yahoo's board handed out to top Yahoo execs in 2007, a year whose horrible performance set up Yahoo for Microsoft's hostile bid. Here are the lowlights:

  • President Sue Decker, who has mostly instigated management upheaval to her Machiavellian advantage, is being paid in the "upper quartile" of comparable executives at Adobe, Apple, eBay, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Network Appliance, Oracle, and Time Warner.
  • Raises handed out to Decker, CFO Blake Jorgensen, general counsel Michael Callahan, and top accountant Michael Murray:
    In connection with her promotion to the position of President, Ms. Decker's annual base salary was increased from $500,000 to $815,000, effective July 1, 2007. Mr. Jorgensen's annual base salary was set at $450,000 upon his joining the Company in June 2007. Mr. Callahan's annual base salary was increased effective April 1, 2007 from $325,000 to $360,000, and Mr. Murray's annual base salary was increased effective July 1, 2007 from $340,000 to $360,000. On March 3, 2008, the Compensation Committee increased the 2008 annual base salary levels of Messrs. Jorgensen, Callahan and Murray to $500,000, $420,000, and $375,000, respectively.
  • Decker received 90 percent of her target bonus, or $1.1 million. Jorgensen received the same percentage for a bonus of $405,000, even though he hadn't worked at Yahoo a full year in 2007. (Jorgensen, though not previously CFO of a public company, did have this unique qualfication for his job: He was the best man at Decker's wedding. Decker is now divorcing.)
  • Decker made a total of $14.8 million, including stock-based compensation, in 2007.