Yahoo CEO could reap $44 million if she leaves after sale

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stands to collect a $44 million severance package if she leaves after Verizon completes its purchase of the once-mighty internet company.

Mayer, a native of Wausau, hasn't announced plans to leave, but industry observers say she's unlikely to stay after the $4.8 billion sale closes early next year.

The 41-year-old executive stands to collect $3 million in cash and almost $41 million worth of stock options and awards under a "golden parachute" agreement described in a regulatory filing Friday. In a filing last spring, Yahoo said Mayer could walk away with $55 million in compensation, but the figures can vary with the value of Yahoo's stock and the date she leaves.

Mayer has been CEO for four years but failed to reverse a long-standing slide in Yahoo's advertising business.