Henrique de Castro

Henrique de Castro was, up until recently, the highest paid Chief Operating Officer (COO) in the country. Originally from Portugal, de Castro has worked for some of the country’s top tech companies—including Yahoo!, Google, and Dell.

Henrique de Castro

IMG: NRKbeta.no via Flickr

After achieving his Licenciature (Bachelor’s) degree in business administration from the University of Lisbon in Portugal, de Castro went on to receive his Master’s in business administration from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is fluent in five languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, and French.

Early in de Castro’s career, he was a consultant for McKinsey & Company and worked in the private equity industry. He went on to manage sales and business development operations for Dell Corporation throughout Western Europe.

Eventually, Henrique de Castro went on to work for Google, where he looked after media, mobile, and platforms organization on a global level. Eventually, he worked his way up to become the vice president of Google’s worldwide Partner Business Solutions group.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! and also a previous Google exec, hired de Castro away from Google in late 2012. De Castro was one of Mayer’s highest profile hires, and certainly the most expensive. Hired on as COO, de Castro was in charge of managing Yahoo’s sales, media, business development, and worldwide operations. No reason was given for de Castro’s departure, but reports indicate that de Castro was unable to improve Yahoo’s advertising revenue and that his and Mayer’s relation had tensed in recent months.

Whether de Castro left on good terms or not, one thing is for certain—he left with a much fatter wallet. His estimated pay in 2012 was $39.2 million (due partially to the $20 million one-time compensation for lost Google bonuses), and his “golden parachute” severance package is estimated to be more than $60 million.

De Castro is described by tech journalist Kara Swisher as “a polarizing figure at Google” who “quickly became the same polarizing figure at Yahoo.” And despite the fact that Mayer and de Castro have thus far stayed fairly mum on the subject, Yahoo’s advertising revenue has continued to be sluggish.

Polarizing figure or not, de Castro’s experience and expertise will most certainly be sufficient enough to land him another job—though with that much money in the bank, an early retirement wouldn’t be surprising.

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