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Get over Marissa Mayer's pregnancy and look at her pay at Yahoo

These are stories Report on Business is following Friday, July 20, 2012.

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Windfall for Mayer
Much is being made of the fact that Yahoo Inc. has hired a pregnant CEO.

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That's as it should be, if Marissa Mayer is the best person for the job. It's unfortunate that some see this as forward-thinking rather current-thinking. It shouldn't even be a topic for discussion.

What should be the topic for discussion is just how much Yahoo plans to pay Ms. Mayer, and how it illustrates just how much of a bet the Internet company is taking on the former Google Inc. executive to turn around its declining fortunes.

If certain targets are met, Ms. Mayer stands to earn up to about $100-million (U.S.) over five years in salary, bonuses and stock awards. There aren't only the targets to think of, of course, but also what she gave up by leaving Google to join a company that goes through a CEO a year.

Still, it's a big number, and one that one consultant told The Wall Street Journal is "reasonable and competitive" in attracting a person of Ms. Mayer's standing.

But, as others point out, it's a big bet.

"It's big," analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners told The New York Times. "But Yahoo is a multibillion-dollar company. If she can create value, it's a small percentage. If she doesn't, she'll join a long succession of Yahoo CEOs with sizable pay packages who did not add value."

For the record, I'd have said the same thing had Yahoo hired a man who wasn't in the family way.

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Teachers' strikes soccer deal
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has struck a deal - worth about £73.1 million or $115.6- million - for Goals Soccer Centres PLC, which runs more than 40 outdoor soccer centres in Britain.

The centres are five-a-side, which Teachers' described today as a "growing leisure activity" that's drawing more than 100,000 people a week.

The company also has one centre in the United States.

As Streetwise columnist Tara Perkins reports today, Teachers' has won the recommendation of the Goals board, but there's a private equity firm, Patron Capital, that's also sniff around the British company.

The Teachers' deals calls for a three-quarters vote among Goals shareholders, and Patron is asking investors to hold on for a bit while it decides what to do.

Monthly inflation eases
Consumer prices eased in Canada last month, pulled down by lower prices at the gas pump.

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But the country's annual pace of inflation picked up to 1.5 per cent from 1.2 per cent in May, Statistics Canada said today, though that's largely because of much lower car prices a year earlier amid heftier discounting.

So-called core prices, which strip out volatile items and help guide the Bank of Canada's monetary policy, increased 2 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent in May, also because of high costs for autos, as well as electricity.

Prices slipped 0.4 per cent on a monthly basis, or 0.2 per cent when adjusted for seasonal factors. Note that food prices dipped.

"The softer food price environment looks vulnerable to an upturn again given the recent grain price surge," said chief economist Avery Shenfeld of CIBC World Markets. "Note that the Bank of Canada became more dovish on the inflation outlook in its latest forecast, so it wasn't really factoring in near-term inflation pressures as a reason for advocating the need for rate hikes down the road."

(And call it Sin City: Alcohol and tobacco prices also fell in the month.)

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About the Author
Report on Business News Editor

Michael Babad is a Report on Business editor and co-author of three business books. He has been with Report on Business for several years, and has also been a reporter and editor at The Toronto Star, The Financial Post and United Press International. His articles have appeared in major newspapers around the world. More


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