Activist Hedge Fund Again Criticizes Yahoo's Lack of Entertainment Expertise
Third Point has named four board members, including former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker, arguing in its latest filing that the Web firm "fails to recognize the tremendous growth opportunity in video."
NEW YORK - Activist hedge fund Third Point had more criticism for Yahoo in a regulatory filing Wednesday that asked shareholders of the Internet firm to support its four alternative candidates for seats on the firm's board to inject media and entertainment expertise.
The fund, which has a 5.8 percent voting stake in Yahoo, has pushed for its CEO Daniel Loeb, former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker, media and entertainment industry consultant Michael Wolf and restructuring expert Harry Wilson as Yahoo board members.
Third Point is asking shareholders to allow it to vote for them on their behalf, arguing that Yahoo, led by new CEO Scott Thompson, a tech veteran, needs more media than technology focus.
That focus ”fails to recognize the tremendous growth opportunity in video, and directly results from a dearth of essential expertise in media and entertainment at the board level,” the fund said.
While Yahoo has said that it would consider Third Point’s candidates, it has also called its campaign disruptive. Overall, the company's response has been “dismissive,” the fund's filing criticized.
It also said that Loeb had already spoken to Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock in September after the firing of Carol Bartz from the CEO role to suggest Bostock and co-founder Jerry Yang were also to blame for Yahoo's challenges. When Loeb threatened "to pursue whatever efforts were necessary to remove Mr. Bostock from the board,” the latter "terminated the call,” according to the filing.