Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer refused to share many details around the company’s sales process during its earnings call on Tuesday.
Although she disputed rumours that Yahoo is dragging its feet on the sales process, calling them “external noise,” Mayer declined to go into more detail during the earnings call.
“In order to protect the integrity of the process we are not going to comment further on things like timing and or particular offers,” Mayer said.
But Starboard Value CEO Jeffrey Smith said that integrity is exactly why the firm is running a proxy contest to replace the entire Yahoo board, including Mayer.
During a CNBC interview Tuesday, David Faber asked Mayer, “Do you question Yahoo’s integrity?
Smith replied, “Just because they’re going through a sales process right now doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to follow through with the process, or get a good result in that process. And it’s our job as owners to represent the best interest of the other owners of the company and to try and help,” Smith answered.
Smith went on to list a bunch of unfulfilled promises Yahoo’s current management had made with shareholders in the past, from its failure to monetise Yahoo Japan while spinning off its Alibaba holdings to its faliure to monetise its patent and real estate properties.
“There have been cases with this management team and this board where they have said they were going to do things over the last several years and then they didn’t follow through,” Smith added.
Smith said that Starboard’s been having “conversations” with Yahoo in hopes of reaching a settlement before going on a full-blown proxy fight with current management. He said he’s seeking “enough representation” on the board, but didn’t offer a specific dollar amount to what a good deal for the core business would look like.
“The nice thing about this asset is that this is a sought after asset with one of the most recognisable brands in the world, a billion unique users, unbelievable properties,” Smith added. “I want the highest possible price, I want a good process, I want to work with good partners.”
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