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January 7, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:50am

Shareholder Starboard demands Yahoo leadership change

News: Yahoo's activist shareholder has been demanding for changes at the search firm since 2014.

By CBR Staff Writer

Yahoo’s activist shareholder Starboard Value has increased pressure on the search giant for a leadership change.

Starboard Value managing director Jeffrey Smith wrote a letter to the Yahoo board of directors calling for a change in management without mentioning any specific names.

Smith said: "It appears that investors have lost all confidence in management and the board.

"To be successful, dramatically different thinking is required, together with significant changes across all aspects of the business, starting at the board level, and including executive leadership."

Starboard, which owns around 0.75% of Yahoo, has been demanding for changes at the search firm since 2014.

Smith noted in the letter that Yahoo’s existing management had more than three years to enhance the core business, but the only results the company’s shareholders have seen is the ballooning of its annual operating costs by about $500m despite declining revenues.

The company has also spent over $2.3bn on acquisitions, with Smith adding that most of those investments have been misguided, poorly overseen, and, ultimately shut down.

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Reacting to Starboard’s letter, Yahoo said: "Our board and management team engage in and maintain regular, open dialogue with all our shareholders, and consistently strive to deliver and to maximise shareholder value."

Yahoo is due to report quarterly earnings later this month. The deadline for shareholders to nominate directors for the planned annual meeting in May is anticipated to be in late February through 26 March.

 

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