It's always intriguing when regulatory filings reveal psychological phenomena. Like BofA reporting millions in legal costs and demonstrating a Moynihanian martyr disorder, or Goldman using almost every quarter to prove that it is the Alpha.
But sometimes these reveals can be a bit troubling, like this little tidbit from Yahoo:
Yahoo said Chief Executive Marissa Mayer faced “specific security threats” in 2015 — and the company accordingly spent more than a half-million dollars on her personal security.
Last year’s tab came to $544,061 — more than 20 times the $26,891 Yahoo had spent a year earlier on protecting Mayer and her immediate family, according to a Monday filing.
Sure, protecting Marissa and her family is serious business but so is corporate Stockholm Syndrome.
While most human beings would argue that you can't put a price on protecting a human life, some Yahoo shareholders are almost certainly looking at this latest revelation and privately thinking "$544,061? Really?"
And Yahoo's explanation was rather vague:
“During 2015 Ms. Mayer faced specific security threats that we believed were credible,” Yahoo said in the filing. The company didn’t elaborate on the threats.
But outside of the threats from activist hedge funds invested in Yahoo, did Yahoo have to take every threat so seriously? It's not like spending half a mil is going to go unnoticed these days and Marissa's perks are now notorious.
Yahoo said it doesn’t consider the security tab a “perk,” and said it “is especially reasonable in light of the fact that Ms. Mayer does not ask the company to reimburse her private aircraft costs for business travel.”
Stop making excuses for her, Yahoo. Blink twice if you want Ross Levinsohn to call for help.