Michael Katz is suing Yahoo! after he was fired at a bar weeks before his first retention bonus was due. Katz joined Yahoo! after his company InterCLICK was acquired for $270 million by the large media company. Katz filed the lawsuit on Monday and claimed that Yahoo! tried to “cheat” and “humiliate” at the bar that he was fired at. Katz said that he was supposed to receive several annual payments of $1.35 million along with other compensation according to the lawsuit filed in a New York state court.
Katz ran the InterCLICK business after the acquisition concluded. The complaint filed by Katz alleges a breach of contract and other claims. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer was not mentioned in the lawsuit. When InterCLICK was acquired, former Yahoo! CFO Tim Morse was serving as the interim CEO.
Yahoo! was supposed to pay Katz a “retention bonus” in 3 annual installments of $1.35 million starting in January 2013 and concluding with a $450,000 payments in January 2016. Yahoo!’s head of human resources allegedly summoned Katz to a bar for a pressing work matter on a Sunday evening in December. Katz “was at home observing the second night of Hannukah.” At the bar, Katz was told that he was being terminated effective almost immediately.
Katz claimed that the rushed termination was “structured and timed as an attempt to deprive him of the compensation he was promised during the merger negotiations,” according to the lawsuit. The case was filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York is Michael Katz vs. Yahoo, case number 0650740-2013.