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Yahoo! hires! top! Googler! to! revamp! operations!

Marissa Mayer gets her man – for a price

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On her first day back in the office after just two weeks of maternity leave, Yahoo! CEO Marisa Mayer has announced that she's wooed a senior Google employee to join her management team.

Henrique de Castro, currently Google's president of Global Media, Mobile & Platforms, will join Yahoo! in January as chief operating officer – unless the Chocolate Factory breaks out its lawyers. He's the first senior Google staff member to be lured to Yahoo! after Mayer left her position there to take the helm of the troubled portal.

"Henrique is an incredibly accomplished and rigorous business leader, and I'm personally excited to have him join Yahoo!'s strong leadership team," said Mayer in a statement. "His operational experience in Internet advertising and his proven success in structuring and scaling global organizations make him the perfect fit for Yahoo! as we propel the business to its next phase of growth."

Getting de Castro onside is, however, expensive. He's costing Yahoo! $600,000 a year in basic salary, with a bonus scheme that could see him get an extra $540,000 depending upon performance. Yahoo! is also handing over a million-dollar signing bonus and at least $18m in share options – although how long those will hold their value is in doubt.

In return, de Castro is expected to do for Yahoo! what he did at Google, where he masterminded increasing Google's display advertising revenue to the point where it outpaced all of the competition. Yahoo! really needs to make itself more of a paying proposition.

"The combination of Yahoo!'s unique properties with high quality content, its renewed focus on outstanding user experience and its massive reach bring tremendous value to users, advertisers and partners," said de Castro. "This is a pivotal point in Yahoo!'s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead. I can't wait to join Marissa and the team and get started."

There is, however, one small problem to solve before he can get started. Because de Castro is Portuguese by birth, Yahoo! will have to sort him out with a visa before he can work for Yahoo! in the US. In the meantime he'll be working out of Yahoo!'s offices in the UK. ®

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