Yahoo Calls a Time-Out – And Drops a Player
Yahoo — the embattled search giant that just barely fought off assimilation by Microsoft early this month, has turned tail in at least a partial retreat from the closing forces of Carl Icahn. To top it off, they've also announced that one of their batters has left the ballpark.
The plan so far appears to be an effort to put off a battle in whatever way they can. The first, and perhaps least creative, method available to Yahoo's board is to stop the opposition from meeting to oust them — which they promptly did last week, announcing that the company's annual meeting of shareholders, originally scheduled for July 3rd, would be rescheduled for an unspecified date towards the end of July. Observers have speculated that the delay is intended to give the board additional time to finish talks and seal a new deal with Microsoft. Whatever the reason, "you can't get us without a meeting" certainly makes for a compelling — if temporary — strategy.
Equally interesting is the announcement that Yahoo director and former Cisco CTO Edward Kozel has retired from the board, reportedly to "spend more time with his family" — a stock line that roughly translates as "I want out of here on the first car, train, bus, plane, or dogsled you can find." Considering that Yahoo's board is being scrutinized, criticized, and sued left and right, as well as facing a ticket to the Unemployment Office post-shareholder meeting, it doesn't surprise us that he's cashed in his chips and gone to watch the show. What will be interesting to see now is who else decides to get out while the getting is still good.