Calvert and Christian Brothers Investment Services, two major US pension funds which between them manage $16bn (£10.4bn) of assets, have voted for every Yahoo! director to be removed from the board ahead of its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.
Both institutional investors are known for campaigning for improvements to companies’ corporate governance standards, but the revolt against Yahoo! comes as a surprise given the revolving door to its boardroom over the last few years.
10 of the company’s 11 directors joined in 2012 after a major board shake-up instigated by activist investor Dan Loeb, founder of Third Point Capital, who ended up joining their ranks in May last year. The longest-standing director is Sue James, a former partner at Ernst & Young, who was appointed at Yahoo! in January 2010.
She is the only boardroom figure to have survived a tumultuous period for Yahoo!. The company has had four chief executives in four years, ending with Ms Meyer, who joined from Google in July last year and has been tasked with turning the ailing web business around.
Last month, the 38-year-old, sealed her first major acquisition at Yahoo!, paying $1.1bn for the photo-sharing site Tumblr . She also instituted a controversial ban on staff working from home, and has discreetly cut around 1000 of Yahoo!’s 15,000 staff, according to reports.
The company has made quiet moves to extricate itself from its deal for Microsoft to fuel Yahoo!’s search engine, although the two companies are still tied to a 10-year agreement.
Despite the Tumblr acquisition and the operational efficiencies Ms Mayer has achieved, she still has some distance to go to set out a clear growth strategy for Yahoo!, which was once the darling of the technology industry but has now lost its place to the likes of Google and Facebook.
Calvert and CBIS were unavailable for comment.
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