Yahoo! and Google's top brass cash in

Stock warning - snouts in the trough

Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel took home $230m from the result of stock sales last year, one of the largest ever hauls for a company executive, a SEC filing reveals. Semel holds another 300 million in Yahoo equity. While mere mortals are usually restricted by selling chunks of options over a four-year period, most of Semel's equity is readily convertible.

Unselfishly, Semel didn't ask for a pay rise. The former Warner Brothers chairman takes home $600,000 a year in salary.

Meanwhile Google's executive triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have pocketed over half a billion dollars from stock sales since the company went public.

What's the catch?

Last month one of Google's most enthusiastic boosters on Wall Street downgraded estimates for both Google and Yahoo!, warning that the text ad boom was slowing to a near halt. RBC's Jordan Rohan predicts a double digit fall in the share price which he describes as a "significant negative inflection point".

Best to cash in while the stock's hot. If you can. ®

Related stories

Google and Yahoo! accused of click fraud collusion
Botnets strangle Google Adwords campaigns
Google sues website over click fraud
Ad confidence spurs Yahoo!
Hacking Google for fun and profit

Sponsored: Designing and building an open ITOA architecture