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At Yahoo, a $42 Million Change of Heart Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer has given the boot to her second in command, Henrique de Castro, just a little over a year after pilfering the exec from rival Google.

By Geoff Weiss

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Since taking the helm at Yahoo in July 2012, Marissa Mayer has made some dramatic and expensive moves. Her latest decision to discharge the company's second in command, chief operating officer Henrique de Castro, can be counted among them.

In an internal memo obtained by the tech website Re/code, Mayer reflects on her pride in the company's achievements throughout 2013 as well as her optimism for the year ahead. "During my own reflection," she writes, "I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company."

The tides at Yahoo have certainly turned. It was just over a year ago that Mayer pilfered de Castro from Google - her old stomping grounds - to serve as the company's "top ad executive and liaison to marketers on Madison Avenue," reports The Wall Street Journal.

Related: Marissa Mayer's Smartest and Dumbest Moves at Yahoo

But apparently, he couldn't deliver. In 2013, Facebook overtook Yahoo as the second largest seller of digital ads worldwide, according to a report by eMarketer. Yahoo's percentage of total digital ad share worldwide also tumbled from 3.37% in 2012 to 2.87% in 2013.

No matter how you shake it, Mayer's change of heart will be costly. According to the Journal, de Castro's severance package could be worth as much as $42.1 million, which includes $41.5 million in restricted shares, $600,000 in cash severance and $7,672 worth of continued health benefits.

While Mayer did announce some additional restructures of Yahoo's leadership team in the internal memo, a successor has not yet been named.

Related: Report: Hot CEOs Bolster Stock Values, Earn Better Salaries

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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