May 13, 2012
Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Steps Down
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson has decided to leave the company in the wake of all the controversy surrounding his resume.
Effective immediately, Ross Levinsohn will take over as interim CEO while the company looks for a new CEO to run the endangered Internet company.
In addition, the Yahoo! Board has announced they have struck a deal with Third Point to settle any proxy contest related to their 2012 meeting of the shareholders.
Third Point has been calling for some drastic changes in the executive management and board for over a week, and this news marks a first victory for the 5.8% shareholders. Joining Thompson as he steps down will be Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Replacing him will be Fred Amoroso.
Under the new agreement struck between Third Point and Yahoo´s board, the three Third Point nominees – Harry Wilson, Michael J. Wolf and Dan Loeb himself – will be joining the board, effective on May 16, 2012.
Mr. Bostock joins Patti Hart, VJ Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson as board members who have made their departure effective immediately in response to this drama.
Third Point has now agreed to withdraw any of their nominees, and will instead throw their support behind the Yahoo! suggested nominees at the upcoming 2012 shareholder meeting.
“The Board is pleased to announce these changes and the settlement with Third Point, and is confident that they will serve the best interests of our shareholders and further accelerate the substantial advances the Company has made operationally and organizationally since last August. The Board believes in the strength of the Company´s business and assets, and in the opportunities before us, and I am honored to work closely with my fellow directors and Ross to continue to drive Yahoo! forward,” said Fred Amoroso, New Chairman of the Yahoo! Board of Directors.
Mr. Amoroso continued, “On behalf of the entire Board, I would also like to thank Patti, VJ, Arthur, Gary and, in particular, Roy, for their dedicated long-term service and contributions to the Board and Yahoo!.”
On the other side of the deal, Third Point´s Director Nominee Jeff Zucker has said of the deal, “I have been supportive of Third Point´s efforts since Daniel asked me to join the slate. When I became aware of Yahoo!´s offer of three board seats to Third Point, I approached Daniel and let him know that I would be happy to step aside to quickly facilitate a settlement. I believe that it is in Yahoo!´s best interests to avoid a prolonged proxy fight and have new board members immediately to help move the company forward. While there is clearly much work to be done, this is the right combination of talented executives to do just that.”
Mr. Thompson, former eBay executive, was cast to be the CEO to right the ship and bring Yahoo! back to its former glory. In his brief four-month tenure at Yahoo!, he had already announced thousands of layoffs in the company.
Third Point began to call for Thompson´s resignation when they had noticed he had falsely claimed to have a Bachelors degree in computer science from Stonehill College.
Loeb and Third Point had threatened to take legal action if the board hadn´t removed Thompson from his post. Now, with Third Point seemingly assuaged, we wait to see what will happen during their 2012 shareholders meeting.