Quoted: on looming Yahoo proxy fight

“Although we believe Mr. Yang’s resignation and the retirement of the Retiring Directors are in the best interests of the Company, we do not believe those changes alone will put the Company on the right track towards maximizing shareholder value.”

Yahoo investor Third Point, the hedge fund that owns a more than 5 percent stake in the Sunnyvale company, wants shareholders to vote for four of its candidates for the board. They include Daniel Loeb, Third Point CEO, who since last year has been pushing for major changes at the company and had vowed to push Chairman Roy Bostock out. (See In Yahoo’s corporate soap opera, more dirty laundry: Hang-up revealed!) Last month, Loeb got his way: Bostock and three other directors announced they would not seek re-election. (See Quoted: on Yahoo board turnover.) But in a regulatory filing Wednesday, Third Point said “installing the hand-picked choices of the current Board does nothing to allay concerns that the Company is poised to repeat the errors of the past,” and that it had no choice but to put its slate of directors up for a vote because Yahoo’s response to installing them has been “dismissive.” Yahoo is no stranger to proxy fights: As Brandon Bailey of the Mercury News pointed out last month in an article about Loeb’s intentions to nominate his own slate, activist investor Carl Icahn pushed his way on to the board in 2008 after Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s hostile takeover bid. The election of Third Point’s nominees would continue Yahoo’s recent dramatic overhaul: In September, CEO Carol Bartz was fired after failing to turn around the company quickly enough. In January, Yahoo brought in former PayPal exec Scott Thompson as chief executive. Not too long after that, Jerry Yang announced he was leaving the company he co-founded, and news about Bostock and the other board members soon followed. By the way, one of Yahoo’s departing directors is Vyomesh Joshi, a longtime Hewlett-Packard executive who is leaving that company after a reorganization officially announced today.

 

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