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One of Yahoo’s fiercest critics, Dan Loeb, has just formally declared war on Yahoo by nominating his own slate of directors.In addition to himself, he has suggested three other names, according to an SEC filing:
- Jeff Zucker, former NBC chairman.
- Michael Wolf, the former COO and President of MTV.
- Harry Wilson, a “restructuring expert” from MAVEA group and former Treasury Department advisor.
The first two nominees make it clear that Loeb wants Yahoo to keep focusing on being a media company, not to return to its technology roots, as new CEO Scott Thompson seems to be planning.
Loeb writes in the filing:
Recent press reports indicating that the Board’s current strategic direction is to emphasise the technology aspects of the Issuer’s business at the expense of advertising and media, which accounts for the vast majority of the Issuer’s revenues. The Reporting Persons believe that this approach places the Issuer’s core revenue generating capability at substantial risk, fails to recognise the tremendous growth opportunity in video, and directly results from a dearth of essential expertise in media and entertainment at the Board level.
Loeb writes that while he approves of the recent shakeup in the board, including the departure of founder Jerry Yang and chairman Roy Bostock, he doesn’t think those changes go far enough:
Installing the hand-picked choices of the current Board does nothing to allay investor fears that Yahoo is poised to repeat the errors of its past.
Earlier today, Thompson reportedly scrapped plans to sell Yahoo’s stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which seems to have infuriated shareholders.