Yahoo Pays Millions For Former Googler; Apple Siri Gets Amazon, AltaVista Exec

Henrique-De-CastroImagine getting a job offer paying a $50,000 per month salary -- $600,000 annually -- less taxes and withholdings. That's Henrique de Castro's base salary for leaving Google and joining Yahoo as the COO under the watch of CEO Marissa Mayer. On top of that add perks like an executive incentive plan, cash bonus, and stock options.

A letter filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission describes the offer for Castro, 47, Google's former vice president of partner business solutions. The compensation package has been valued at up to $58 million.

It's not surprising that Mayer would tap Googlers to join her challenge to turn around one of the Internet icons. At one point, Google and Microsoft were rumored to invest in the ailing Yahoo to bail out the company.



Mayer sent a Twitter tweet Monday to celebrate the appointment: "My first full day back in the office, and I'm excited to kick it off by announcing my new COO, Henrique de Castro." Yes -- her first full day back in the office after giving birth to her son Sept. 30, and that alone has met with controversy.

De Castro is the second former Google employee hired by Yahoo in recent months, and joins new finance chief Ken Goldman and marketing head Kathy Savitt, a former executive, according to reports.

Yahoo is not the only giant to have poached a new hire. Apple reportedly hired the Amazon executive and search executive William Stasior to head up its Siri division. Stasior, a former AltaVista director of advanced development, served as chief and co-founder of A9, Amazon's search and advertising subsidiary, since February 2006.

Now, Stasior steps in to run the company's iPhone personal assistant business. Under Stasior's guidance, marketers can expect Siri to transform into a full-fledged search engine operated by voice and touch controls. No announcements about that transformation have been made. It's pure conjecture on my part, but at AltaVista he led the engineering team responsible for developing the company's next-generation search technologies. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in July 1997.

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