One of the chief Yahoo shareholders believes the falling Internet Company would be better off without the leadership of Jerry Yang.
According to a Friday letter to Yahoo’s board, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb asserts Yang has too many conflicts of interest in keeping the board seat he held since first began leading the company almost 16 years ago.
Loeb owns a 5.2 percent stake in Yahoo Inc. because of a fund called Third Point LLC, based his conclusion on published reports, which Yang has been talking to numerous buyout firms concerning joint forces so that they could buy a controlling stake in the company. The letter includes the Texas Pacific Group, Providence Equity Partners, Silver Lake, KKR & Co. and the Blackstone Group as the firms talking to Yang.
In a statement, a Yahoo reiterated its board has been travelling around various ways in boosting the company’s stock price and rejected the reports cited in Loeb’s letter as rumor
Yahoo asserted that Mr. Yang is one of nine directors with the same fiduciary duties and reason as all of his fellow directors — in to serve the finest interests of the entire company’s shareholders.
Loeb asked whether Yang is more interested in selling Yahoo to the highest bidder or negotiating a deal for the company could still be in “friendly hands.” The letter also passes on to Yang’s “ineptitude” in 2008 when he wasted an opportunity in selling Yahoo to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share — over twice the company’s up to date market value.
Yang holds a 3.6 percent stake in Yahoo, which means does not own as much of the company as Loeb does.
The criticism on Yang is the newest bit of drama at a company been immersed in a soap opera ever since ex- movie mogul Terry Semel quitted as CEO in an effort to calm down frustrated shareholders in mid-2007.
Yang then becomes the CEO, only to spent much of his time at the top fending off Microsoft’s unsolicited occupation bid and jousting with another arrogant shareholder, Carl Icahn. In time Microsoft eventually withdrew its offer in frustration and Icahn got three seats on the company’s board prior to Yang turning over the CEO job to Carol Bartz in January 2009.
In an initial attempt in shaking up the board, Loeb encouraged Yang in a Sept. 14 letter so that they could work together in ousting Bostock, been criticized by other unhappy shareholders throughout the past three years.