Yahoo Annual Meeting Ends The Drama

    August 1, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Not with a bang, but with a whimper, as CEO Jerry Yang and chairman Roy Bostock kept their jobs, Sue Decker hung on to the president’s desk, and shareholders got a “stay the course” type message from the Yahoo powers-that-be.

The potential for fireworks really ended when investor Carl Icahn realized he couldn’t convince the big institutional investors in Yahoo stock to chuck Yang and Bostock into the purple dustbin of history in favor of a new slate of directors.

Icahn gained a seat on the board, as Yahoo previously agreed to bring him on as a replacement for departing director Bobby Kotick, who has his days full managing Activision; that company merged with World of Warcraft’s publisher, Blizzard, in 2007.

Yahoo plans to name two more new directors by August 15, as they expand the board to 11 members. Not among them: Jonathan Miller, former CEO of AOL. The New York Post said Time Warner is holding Miller to a non-compete pact that keeps him on the tech sidelines until next March.

Miller’s potential place on Yahoo’s board of directors could be a step to replacing Yang as CEO. Yang’s presence as Terry Semel’s replacement has brought no joy to shareholders. The company’s stock fell 29 percent from the time Yang took over in June 2007.

Accounts of the meeting showed minimal interest from shareholders. CNBC live-blogged photos of lots of empty seats and trays piled high with untouched pastries along with its accounts of Decker, Bostock, and Yang addressing the attendees.

The proxy voting had long tallied up in favor of Yahoo’s board, leaving little drama to today’s meeting. As All Things D noted, not even all of Yahoo’s directors bothered to show up either.