Yahoo just announced it will sell to Verizon for $4.83 billion.
During the public sale process of the past six months, and well before it began, critics of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer have been vocal about her performance at the helm of the company. Kara Swisher at the tech blog Re/code, for example, has consistently ridiculed Mayer’s leadership of the company.
But one useful way to judge a CEO is by how the stock performed during his or her tenure. It is certainly not the only indicator, but it is a popular one. Mayer became CEO of Yahoo on July 16, 2012. On that day, the stock was at $15.69. Almost exactly four years later, the stock is at $38.90. That’s a 151% increase during Mayer’s tenure. And it’s more than double the 61% growth of the S&P in that time.
Of course, Yahoo stock performance has much to do with the stock performance of Alibaba, in which Yahoo has had a stake since 2005. Alibaba went public in September 2014.
Interestingly, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was also largely criticized for years before AOL sold to Verizon last year. Motley Fool called him “the worst CEO of the decade.” But similarly to Yahoo stock under Mayer, AOL stock under Armstrong flourished. When Armstrong became CEO of AOL in March 2009 the stock was around $27, and when Verizon bought AOL in May 2015, AOL stock was above $50.
Yahoo’s market cap nearly doubled during Mayer’s tenure, going from $19.4 billion to $37.6 billion, though of course it is a far cry from the $111 billion peak in 1999.
Yahoo stock is actually down 2.2% on the Verizon sale news, at the time of writing. Pundits have interpreted this to mean that the market doesn’t like the deal. But again, Yahoo stock almost always follows the lead of Alibaba stock, and Alibaba stock is down 1.75% today.
Disclaimer: Yahoo is the corporate parent of Yahoo Finance, but Yahoo Finance covers Yahoo as it does any other large public company.
Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering sports business and tech. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.