Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will be resigning from the board after her company completes its acquisition by Verizon. She is not the only one to depart from the combined company, as cofounder David Filo, Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill, Jane Shaw, and Maynard Webb will be leaving. Eric Brandt will become the chairman of the board.
In other news, the holding company what remains from Yahoo, including the Yahoo Japan and Alibaba stakes, will become an investment company known as Altaba, Inc.
Those remaining on the Yahoo board include Brandt, Tor Braham, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney, and Jeffrey Smith. Yahoo sought to make it clear that the departures of the six directors was not due to any disagreements or issues with its policies or operations.
Verizon won the rights to Yahoo last year, paying $4.8 billion for the company, but it wasn’t exactly a seamless process. Right after the deal was announced, Yahoo claimed that “state-sponsored hackers” infiltrated its system and gained access to data from initially 500 million accounts, before months later also revealing another billion users had been affected. This led to some reports suggesting that Verizon was thinking of bowing out of the deal, or at least asking Yahoo for a $1 billion discount.
While it’s said that Mayer will depart from the new board after the acquisition closes, there’s no official word yet on whether she’ll be departing from the Verizon organization. If it happens, it’s been reported that Mayer could receive $55 million. Soon after the purchase by Verizon, she issued a statement saying that she’s not going anywhere, at least perhaps in the short-term, but what about after that?
The naming of the new holding company for what’s left of Yahoo is the second time a brand has been proposed. In 2015, the board had revealed it would be called Aabaco and would hold not only Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, but also Yahoo’s small business division. Months later, that effort stalled when the company decided to do a “reverse spin-off” instead.
Altaba — minus the exclamation point — will be responsible for increasing returns on its investment in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba. The latter recently announced it was taking the Chinese department store Intime Retail private in a $2.6 billion deal.
It seems the new Altaba and soon-to-be Verizon-owned Yahoo are interested in starting fresh with new leaders at the helm.
Shares in Yahoo were up today 0.27 percent to close at $41.34, while Verizon’s were down 1.09 percent at $52.68.