Yahoo Counsel Leaves After Hack Investigation Finds Lack of Action

Ron Bell, center, at the Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' dinner reception pre-party at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Yahoo)
By Brian Womack, Bloomberg News

Yahoo! Inc. General Counsel Ron Bell has left the company after an investigation of security breaches in recent months found that the legal team had enough information to warrant further inquiry but didn’t sufficiently pursue it.

Bell resigned Wednesday and no payments are being made in connection with the move, the company said in a regulatory filing. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer also didn’t receive a bonus last year amid the investigations and the pending sale of the company’s web operations to Verizon Communications Inc.

“In late 2014, senior executives and relevant legal staff were aware that a state-sponsored actor had accessed certain user accounts by exploiting the Company’s account management tool,” Yahoo said in the filing. “The 2014 Security Incident was not properly investigated and analyzed at the time, and the Company was not adequately advised with respect to the legal and business risks associated with the 2014 Security Incident.”

The Sunnyvale, California-based company said the committee investigating the incidents didn’t find that the information was intentionally suppressed.

“When I learned in September 2016 that a large number of our user database files had been stolen, I worked with the team to disclose the incident to users, regulators, and government agencies,” Mayer wrote in a blog post on Tumblr. “However, I am the CEO of the company and since this incident happened during my tenure, I have agreed to forgo my annual bonus and my annual equity grant this year and have expressed my desire that my bonus be redistributed to our company’s hardworking employees.”

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