The jump to Juniper Networks as CEO seems almost a no-brainer for Microsoft executive Kevin Johnson.
Johnson will not only be top dog at the networking company when he arrives September 8, but he's landing a $5 million signing bonus that'll be doled out over three years and an annual base salary of $800,000, according to Juniper's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
Johnson, who's leaving his post as Microsoft's online and Windows chief, will also land two stock option grants that total 1.6 million shares vesting over four years, once he starts his new gig.
Juniper's stock is currently trading around $25 a share, giving his stock options grant a value of $40 million. The exercise price of Johnson's stock options, however, will be based on the closing price of the day he receives the grant.
For Johnson, he will not only be embarking on a new adventure but also leaving roughly six months of Yahoo-Microsoft drama behind, in which he has played a key role.
Back on February 1, Microsoft made an unsolicited buyout bid of $31 a share for Yahoo, followed by a sweetened bid of $33 a share in May, only to be withdrawn after Yahoo countered with a $37 a share bid. A couple of attempts at striking a search-only acquisition deal were proposed by Microsoft, only to be rejected and, in the background, Icahn briefly waged a proxy fight with Yahoo with Microsoft playing a supporting role.
And as Yahoo investors endured a roller coaster ride with the stock during the past six months, they were dealt a strong blow Wednesday, when news of Johnson's impending departure from Microsoft began to circulate. Yahoo's shares closed that day down 4.7 percent to $20.39 a share.
News of Johnson's departure came out several days after Yahoo and Carl Icahn announced they had reached a settlement and the investor activist was withdrawing his proxy fight.
One source familiar with Juniper's CEO search said the timing of Johnson's appointment as CEO and the Yahoo-Microsoft saga are just coincidental.
"Juniper has been searching for a CEO for some time now...it just happened to overlap with what was going on at Yahoo. Yahoo was not a trigger for Kevin's departure and his candidacy wasn't linked to what would or would not go on at Yahoo," the source added.