Yahoo CEO raids Google to hire top lieutenant

Associated Press Modified: October 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm •  Published: October 15, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is mining her old advertising connections at Google to help her tackle the challenges facing her in her new job.

Henrique de Castro, one of Google's top advertising executives for the past two years, is leaving the Internet search leader to be Mayer's top lieutenant. Beginning early next year, de Castro will be Yahoo's chief operating officer.

The defection announced Tuesday is Mayer's highest-profile hiring since she left Google to run Yahoo three months ago. Since then, Mayer has brought in a new chief financial officer and chief marketing officer without raiding the ranks of her former employer.

Yahoo Inc. has been struggling to attract more advertising for several years, a problem that Mayer evidently thinks she can fix with the expertise of an executive who helped build Google Inc. into the Internet's most lucrative marketing network.

Through the first half of this year, Google's ad revenue totaled nearly $21 billion, a 22 percent increase from 2011, while Yahoo generated about $2 billion, unchanged from 2011.

De Castro, 47, has played a key role in Google's success since leaving Dell Inc. in 2006. He is currently a vice president who runs a division that manages Google's relationships with advertisers. Before that, he managed Google's advertising expansion on smartphones and other mobile devices, another area believed to be high on Mayer's agenda.

De Castro will remain in his current job for a few more months. Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has given de Castro until Jan. 22 to wrap up his duties at Google, which is based just a few miles away in Mountain View.

In an indication of how much Mayer prizes de Castro's skills, Yahoo is giving him a compensation package valued at about $58 million, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Most of the pay consists of restricted stock and stock options that will vest over the next four years. De Castro is getting restricted grant valued at $20 million and a $1 million cash bonus to make up for benefits he is relinquishing at Google.

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