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WSJ: Icahn hopes to oust Yahoo chief

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Tue June 3, 2008

Icahn Hopes to Oust Y CEO

Activist investor Carl Icahn wants to replace Yahoo chief Jerry Yang in the event that a proxy battle for the control of the company's board is successful, says the Wall Street Journal. An interview with Icahn reveals that is goal is to remove Yang in the belief that the long-time Yahoo executive has no interest in selling his company to Microsoft regardless of the price. The sudden use of extremely expensive severance packages, as well as other moves, are evidence that Yang is determined to keep the company independent at all costs, Icahn argues.

"It's no longer a mystery to me why Microsoft's offer isn't around," he says in the interview. "[Yahoo board members] keep saying they're willing to negotiate and sell the company on the one hand, while at the same time they're completely sabotaging the process without telling anyone."

Icahn is also reportedly convinced that Yang and supporters are currently seen as barriers to any possible deal with Microsoft despite the latter's willingness to discuss a future transaction that most believe will see Yahoo sell off its search ad business and potentially other aspects of the company.

Yang and fellow board members have often said they would entertain a whole takeover attempt from Microsoft that "maximizes stockholder value," though recently unsealed court documents reveal that layoffs in the event of a Microsoft takeover could cost the company as much as $2.1 billion, adding to the $44.6 billion of the initial value of Microsoft's takeover. The company is also known to be working on an open-ended ad system that would allow Google and others to bid on search ads, further discouraging Microsoft from engaging in a buyout without making concessions.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sounds like they'd

    prefer to stay independent. Seems Icahn't let that happen?

  1. Boult

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yahoo don't need M$

    well, get rid of ICahn before he oust Yahoo cheif.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Icahn doesn't care...

    ...about anything but the price of his own shares. He's see employees laid off, careers ruined, all for a few extra jewels encrusted on his luxury yachts.How much money is enough for these people? Why are shareholders valued above employees who actually build companies and make them function?

  1. broohaha22

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Icahn haz chhezburger?

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The job of the board is to maximize shareholder value and direct the company.

    It seems all Icahn wants to do is sell the company to MSFT. Whether you think that is in the best interests of the company is up to you. But the board is also there to make sure the company is run properly. Does Icahn have that in mind? He seems intent on selling the company and nothing else.

    His slate of directors don't seem to have too much experience with a company like Yahoo. Do they have any long term strategy except to sell it?

    Haysek: while I agree with you 100%, the board works for the shareholders, not the employees. And the goals of either are not necessarily the same, though you would think they would be (build up the company).

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