De Castro's severance package was based in part on how well the company did and its stock performance. All but a million dollars was based in the value of his equity award in Yahoo. De Castro's package was bigger than CEO Marissa Mayer's 2013 compensation, valued at $24.9 million with an additional $21.2 million from vested shares.
De Castro was Mayer's first big hire after she was appointed CEO, and he was expected to revive the tech company's fledgling advertising business.
Yahoo, in a preliminary proxy filing Wednesday, said that de Castro's exit package would have been far smaller had it not been for the sharp gains in the Yahoo stock. Yahoo’s share value rose from $15.68 to $40.34 while he worked at the company. As a result, the severance package was valued at $17 million when he signed, but now has more than tripled to $58 million.
Ironically, much of Yahoo's stock surge has less to do with management initiatives and more to do with Yahoo's 24 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The company has seen its value soar in the last few years and with an upcoming IPO, it is rumored to be valued at around $200 million.
Yahoo defended its decision to hire de Castro and his package by saying that they believed he "had a unique set of highly valuable skills and experiences that would be key to returning the company to long-term growth and success and would best serve long-term shareholder interests."