Yahoo Relents, Allows Activist Investors to Join Board
During the last three months, Starboard Value LP rallied investors to replace the entire Yahoo board, including Mayer, in a proxy battle.Yahoo, under mounting pressure from a growing number of dissatisfied investors, revealed April 27 that it has decided to diffuse a proxy fight with activist investor Starboard Value LP, and as a result will add four of Starboard's independent directors to its board. Starboard CEO and Chief Investment Officer Jeff Smith, the most vocal of the company's investors in recent months, will be among those joining Yahoo's board. He will be joined by Tor R. Braham, former managing director and global head of technology mergers and acquisitions for Deutsche Bank Securities; Eddy W. Hartenstein, a director of SanDisk, Sirius XM Holdings, Broadcom Ltd., and Rovi Corporation; and Richard S. Hill, chairman of Tessera Technologies. Hartenstein was formerly CEO of the Tribune Company, chairman and CEO of DirecTV and publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. Yahoo independent board members Lee Scott and Sue James will be leaving the board as part of the Starboard deal.
During the last three months, Starboard rallied investors to replace the entire Yahoo board, including Mayer, in a proxy battle. Smith said in an interview by CNBC a few days ago that Starboard was calling the company on the carpet for "unfulfilled promises" management had made with shareholders, its inability to spin off and/or monetize its Far East investments, and its failure to better profit from patent and real-estate properties.