February 9, 2012
As Yahoo’s Struggles Continue, Board Chairman Bostock Steps Down
In an unexpected letter to shareholders, Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock announced Tuesday that he and his fellow board members Vyomesh Joshi, Arthuer Kern and Gary Wilson would not be seeking another term on the board this year.
Bostock said that former Rovi CEO Alfred Amoroso and former LiveOps CEO Maynard Webb had been added to Yahoo´s upper management team to stand in as independent directors.
The past months have been a topsy-turvy time for the wavering Web colossus. Amidst whispers of buyouts and speculation that the company would be selling its 35 percent share in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo´s board also let go CEO Carol Bartz in September, finally replacing her with Scott Thompson just last month.
Perhaps even more dramatic–though of little operational significance–was the departure of the company´s founder Jerry Yang just a few weeks ago. Yang reportedly resigned from the board in order to “pursue other interests.”
Mr. Bostock has been a member of Yahoo´s board since 2003 and its chairmen since 2008. Shortly after taking the reins, the company got its first takeover bid from Microsoft, an offer that Yahoo ultimately turned down.
According to company insiders, Yahoo has not received any similar takeover offers since the board announced that it would be undertaking a broad “strategic review” of its business some five months ago.
Bostock will stay on as chairman until Yahoo´s annual meeting, which is likely to take place sometime in the coming months. At the meeting, the company´s board is expected to elect a new chairman.
Though an early Internet trailblazer in the 1990s, Yahoo has languished in recent years as a host of innovative new competitors like Google and Facebook have consistently eaten away at their once dominant share in online advertising.
Analysts say that a number of the company´s major investors would like to see Yahoo dump its Asian assets and concentrate on building up its core online media business.
Reuters reported one of the company´s major shareholders as calling Bostock´s departure “monstrously overdue” and seemed to candidly question the competence of the entire board.
“I´m not highly confident about anything given that group, and now I don´t know who the group is. [“¦] I have a choice of uncertainty or almost a certainty that they´ll make a bad decision. It´s like the lesser of two evils,” the anonymous shareholder told Reuters´ Alexei Oreskovic.
The stock markets appeared unimpressed with news. Following the announcement, Yahoo shares rose by a mere one cent to $15.83 in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
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