One of Yahoo’s most vocal investors has weighed in on Starboard Value’s plan to replace Yahoo’s entire board.
“We are happy to have choices in selecting Yahoo’s board at this year’s meeting, following Starboard’s decision today to file its slate,” Eric Jackson of Spring Owl Asset Management said in an email to Business Insider.
Starboard wants to replace Yahoo’s board with nine nominees, a list made up of investment bankers and media and tech executives.
“Shareholders do better when they get to choose who represents them on the board, rather than being force-fed management-vetted choices,” Jackson said. “We look forward to hearing from both Starboard and Yahoo now on why they deserve our vote and how they best plan to unlock the tremendous value that remains currently unrealized within Yahoo after four years of waste and dithering.”
Agree and disagree
Back in January, Jackson dropped a 99-page slide deck on why it’s time to fire Marissa Mayer. He blamed her leadership for the decline in the company’s core business. At the time, he also placed some blame on the board for these issues as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that an investor wants a clean sweep though, and that’s what Starboard is proposing.
Plus, Jackson and Starboard have different views on what to do with Yahoo’s core business. Starboard wants to “ensure a full and fair sale process,” according to its letter, and Jackson thinks there’s a chance that Yahoo can be saved.
“A sale may be the only option left for Yahoo because of the billions wasted over the past four years on inconsequential M&A, internal investment that resulted in no new products of significance, supposed “star” executives lured away for millions and then fired, no articulated turnaround plan until a week ago, and the wasted money on sponsoring Davos, the Met Ball, and free food which former unicorns can’t afford any more,” Jackson wrote in his email.
“However, we don’t support the idea of Yahoo’s core business being sold off at some fire sale price. In our 99-page report released in mid-December, we argued how — through aggressive job cuts that would get EBITDA up to $2B annually — there appears to be a clear path to Yahoo’s core business being worth $15B today (using an AOL-like multiple).”
Sounds like everyone has a lot to talk about here.
Listen to Business Insider’s Linette Lopez and Josh Barro talk Starboard, pasta water, and activist investing on their podcast below: