Yahoo fight looms after board shakeup
26 March 2012, 12:05
San Francisco - Yahoo! announced the appointment of three independent
board members as the struggling firm moved to shake up its team and fend
off a challenge from an activist hedge fund.
But the hedge fund
seeking to get control of the firm said it was disappointed with the
move, and would press its case to shareholders.
Yahoo! said the
new board members were John Hayes, executive vice president and chief
marketing officer of American Express; Peter Liguori, former chief
operating officer of Discovery Communications and former chair and
president of entertainment of Fox Broadcasting Network; and Thomas
McInerney, the outgoing chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Yahoo said the new board members "bring a powerful mix of exactly the right ingredients to fuel Yahoo!'s forward momentum".
named Scott Thompson as its new chief executive in January and promised
urgent action to turn the company around after a year of falling income
Thompson, named Yahoo! CEO
only on January 4, said the internet giant needed to move quickly to
exploit its huge bank of user data to regain market share, especially in
display ads where it has lost ground.
But the nominating
committee rejected a push for a slate of nominees from hedge fund Third
Point, which has taken a large stake in Yahoo!, saying it chose the
"best qualified" candidates.
A Yahoo! statement said the company
had proposed accepting one of the Third Point candidates along with
another candidate mutually acceptable to the board and the hedge fund.
the statement said Third Point founder and chief executive Daniel Loeb
"rejected this proposal and declined to end Third Point's solicitation
with respect to its own four candidates unless he personally was
appointed to the board".
The Yahoo! board said it "remains open
to hearing Third Point's ideas and to working constructively with Third
Point, but believes that appointing Mr Loeb to the board is not in the
best interest of the company and its shareholders".
Point said it was disappointed and that the Yahoo! board "has shown yet
again that they are unable to execute deals that are in the company's
"Since we launched our campaign for a better
Yahoo!, our goal has been clear: To fix a dysfunctional board by adding
new directors who are truly independent and squarely aligned with
shareholders to increase Yahoo!'s value," a Third Point statement said.
the board has left us with no choice but to take our case directly to
our fellow shareholders, Third Point intends to move forward with a
proxy contest. Yahoo!'s shareholders deserve a voice and a choice. We
intend to provide them with one at this year's annual meeting."
Thompson was recruited, Yahoo! co-founder and former chief executive
Jerry Yang resigned from the board of directors. A few weeks later the
chair and three other directors said they would step down, opening the
way for Thompson's agenda.