In a letter to the Yahoo board, Chairman Roy Bostock announces that he won't be seeking re-election at the next shareholder's meeting. Is Bostock stepping down? Or is it more like jumping ship?
Bostock's letter to shareholders updating them on recent actions taken by the Yahoo board -- and initiated by the Chairman -- puts a positive spin on recent, dramatic changes at the company to meet shareholder expectations. Bostock explains:
The board decided then to move aggressively on three fronts to position Yahoo! for future success: one, we initiated a search for a new Chief Executive Officer with a vision and set of skills to lead Yahoo! into the future; two, we undertook a comprehensive strategic and structural review of the business; and three, we decided to assess the composition of the Company’s board of directors relative to its ability to enhance the prospects for Yahoo!’s future success. We have made progress on all three fronts."
Bostock describes new CEO Scott Thompson as "a capable and dynamic leader" with the expertise to help Yahoo grow and succeed in the marketplace, and he predicts that Thomspon will help his team deliver "engaging user experiences driven by innovative products." Thompson, the former President of PayPal, joined Yahoo earlier this year. He replaced Yahoo's previous CEO, Carol Bartz, who was fired in September 2011.
In mid-January 2012, Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang resigned from the board of directors. In his letter to the board this week, Bostock says that other board members will be stepping down, too:
Finally, the board has concluded that in order to accelerate the Company’s transformation, the combination of a new Chief Executive Officer with an enhanced team of independent directors would provide Yahoo! with the expertise and perspectives necessary to drive innovation and growth going forward. Therefore, Mr. Joshi, Mr. Kern, Mr. Wilson and I have volunteered not to stand for re-election at the next shareholders’ meeting."
The Yahoo board elected Alfred Amoroso and Maynard Webb, Jr. to be independent directors. Amoroso was the President and CEO of Rovi Corporation until December 2011, and Webb is a former COO of eBay. Bostock says the board is searching for additional independent directors.
Regardless of how many independent directors the company finds, is it too late for the floundering Yahoo to change direction?