Starboard Value LP owns a big stake in AOL, and it thinks CEO Tim Armstrong could be doing a better job.It’s declared a proxy war, today announcing four people it thinks should be elected to AOL’s board.
Ronald S. Epstein is the Founder and CEO of epicentre IP Group LLC, a company dedicated to assisting patent owners in obtaining maximum value for their intellectual property. Previously, Mr. Epstein was Vice President and General Counsel of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., and Director of Licensing at Intel Corporation. Before joining Intel, Mr. Epstein was a member of the Technology Licensing Group at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati. Mr. Epstein has more than 20 years of experience in developing, optimising, and transacting intellectual property asset portfolios, and has delivered significant value to patent owners from the sale or licensing of patents in over 150 transactions.
Steven B. Fink is currently a private investor with extensive experience building and managing technology companies. Mr. Fink is the former CEO of Lawrence Investments, LLC, a venture with Larry Ellison that owns and manages all of Mr. Ellison’s non-Oracle investments. Lawrence Investments founded and invested in numerous technology, education, medical, and biotechnology companies. Mr. Fink previously served as Chairman and CEO of Anthony Manufacturing Company, Chairman and Managing Director of Knowledge Universe, and Chairman and CEO of Nextera. Mr. Fink currently serves as Vice Chairman of Heron International, and as a member of the Board of Directors of K-12. Previously, Mr. Fink served as the Chairman of the Board of Leapfrog, Inc., and Spring Group until its sale in 2007.
Dennis A. Miller is a strategic advisor to Lionsgate Entertainment and has been focused primarily on investing at the intersection of media and technology. Previously, he was a General Partner at Spark Capital, a venture fund where he invested in companies including Twitter, CNET, and AdMeld. As a Managing Director for Constellation Ventures, he invested in companies such as Capital IQ. Mr. Miller has also served as Executive Vice President of Lionsgate Entertainment, Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Executive Vice President of Turner Network Television.
Jeffrey C. Smith is co-Founder and CEO of Starboard Value, a New York-based investment firm that is one of the largest shareholders of AOL. Mr. Smith has extensive public company board experience. Currently, he serves on the boards of Regis Corp., and SurModics Inc. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Board of Phoenix Technologies Ltd., and a director of Zoran Corporation, Actel Corporation, S1 Corporation, and Kensey Nash Corp. Mr. Smith also served as a member of the Management Committee for Register.com.
James Warner is the principal of Third Floor Enterprises, an advisory firm specializing in digital marketing and media. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Avenue A | Razorfish, and served on the executive committee of aQuantive, its parent company. He has also served as President of Primedia Magazine Group, President of the CBS Television Network, President of CBS Enterprises, and Vice President at HBO. Mr. Warner served as a director on the board of MediaMind Technologies Inc until its sale to DG FastChannel, Inc. in July 2011.
Investors, advisors, and a lawyer, eh? Underwhelming.
Update: AOL FIRES BACK!