Starboard seeking control of Yahoo's entire board in proxy fight: Report

Week long talks have not gone well, and Starboard is seeking to control Yahoo's entire board.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
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Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP will seek to remove all of Yahoo's current board when it nominates nine directors on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

An unreleased letter, reviewed by the publication, says the board and management of Yahoo have failed to live up to their promises and shouldn't be trusted with the company's future.

Yahoo has reportedly been trying to avoid a proxy fight in negotiations this week.

The pressure from Starboard comes after Yahoo announced plans in February to explore options to sell its core assets and cut its workforce, following criticism from Starboard and other investors. Several reports have noted Yahoo is currently shopping a list of forty potential buyers, including Time and Verizon.

Yahoo's board and CEO Marissa Mayer have been restructuring the company while considering buyers. The Journal reports it will take months for a vote on the board changes, and if the hedge fund is successful, it would increase the chances of Yahoo's sale.

Yahoo's management believes it can solve problems without a sale. Mayer told Charlie Rose in an interview earlier this month she wants three years to solve the company's issues.

"We have a three-year strategic plan," Mayer told Rose when asked if she will be running Yahoo a year from now. "I can see how it will work and how we can actually get to a successful turnaround of Yahoo, but I think that, you know, it`s about our users and it`s about our employees and what`s happening with all of them, and I certainly hope that our services are here a year from now and that they run even better than they do today. I can see that that should easily be the outcome."

Yahoo's strategic review committee is working with Goldman Sachs & Co. Inc., J.P. Morgan and PJT Partners as its financial advisers for a sale. Mayer said in the past that the plan is to work on strategic alternatives at the same time it carries out its turnaround plan.

We have reached out to Yahoo for comment.

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