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Microservices Expo: Article

Proxy Fight over Yahoo Takes to the Web

Third Point says, “We created ValueYahoo as a guide for our fellow Yahoo shareholders who want change"

This being the 21st century, dissident stockholder Third Point LLC has taken its nascent proxy fight over the soul of Yahoo to the web.

Under a "vacancy" sign, it's set up a precedent-setting blog at www.valueyahoo.com where it intends to pick apart the litany of Yahoo's missteps to convince its fellow investors that the company's destiny would be better off in savvier hands like those of the four pretty high-profile independent directors it's proposed should sit on the Yahoo board.

The site is done up in Yahoo's signature purple and there's a linking Facebook page. (You will of course remember that Yahoo's new CEO Scott Thompson, ex of PayPal, is suing Facebook for infringing Yahoo patents.)

Third Point says, "We created ValueYahoo as a guide for our fellow Yahoo shareholders who want change at one of technology's most valuable - and sadly, we believe, most mismanaged - companies. We share your desire for a new path forward, and here you will find our case for change, along with ways to join our campaign."

It estimates Yahoo's value - less its cash and stake in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba - has plummeted from nearly $30 billion when Microsoft was after it to roughly $2 billion now.

The hedge fund owns about 5.8% of Yahoo, which has lost its advertising hegemony to Facebook and has failed to fend off the incursions of Google.

Yahoo is showing four of its incumbent directors the door to appease investors, including chairman Roy Bostock who foolishly braced co-founder Jerry Yang in turning down Microsoft's ridiculously handsome offer to buy the company for $44.6 billion in 2008. Their exit will mean the last of the Microsoft-rejecting board is gone including Yang.

In their place the company named three new directors last month. Yahoo wanted to keep Third Place CEO Daniel Loeb off the board but agreed to accept one of his slate as well as another director they could both agree on. Loeb said no dice - he wants on - and that when the threatened proxy battle started heating up.

The site, which promises continuous updates, includes details on the failures of Yahoo leadership, Third Point's strategic vision and profiles of its four board nominees.

Thompson, meanwhile, is supposed to restructure the company and throw thousands of Yahoos on the street. Maybe this week.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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