Yahoo agrees on compromise with major shareholder Icahn
After receiving some support in its battle with Carl Icahn, the highly critical major shareholder, the Yahoo internet group has agreed to a compromise. Icahn, the American billionaire who holds almost 5 per cent of the shares in Yahoo, is getting a total of three seats on the company board for himself and his intimates. Both parties announced today, Monday 21 July, in Sunnyvale, California, that in return, he is withdrawing his own list of opposing candidates to replace all of the board's members.
According to a Yahoo press release, eight current members of the board, the chairman Roy Bostock and CEO Jerry Yang among them, are standing for re-election. Robert Kotick is leaving the board, which is being expanded to eleven members from its previous nine. The three places left vacant are to be filled by Carl Icahn and two candidates to be elected by the shareholders from a list of nine Icahn nominees. Among these is Jonathan Miller, former CEO of AOL.
The agreement was reached just two weeks before an impending escalation of the dispute at the general meeting of Yahoo shareholders on 1 August. As before, Icahn wants Yahoo to sell out to Microsoft, the world's largest software group. The press release reports him as saying that the sale of Yahoo's search business must be given full consideration. Yahoo has rejected several purchase offers from Microsoft, worth billions.
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