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450,000 Yahoo Users 'Compromised' by Hackers

Yahoo Logo - H 2011

The security breach came a day before the new media company's annual gathering of shareholders.

Yahoo's annual meeting of shareholders came and went Thursday without the company naming a permanent CEO.

Given that the board met Wednesday to discuss the matter, it was widely expected that Yahoo would make interim chief executive Ross Levinsohn its CEO and talk about the appointment during its meeting.

Instead, Levinsohn talked in generalities about Yahoo's potential and about the past year being "a time of change."

It certainly was, with former CEO Scott Thompson losing his job in May over a scandal involving his allegedly padded résumé and the addition of board members after pressure from a dissident shareholder. 

The annual meeting also coincided with Yahoo's disclosure that its security was breached the day before, amounting to about 450,000 stolen user names and passwords.

"We are fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised," Yahoo said Thursday.

At the meeting, Yahoo shareholders approved the company's 11 board nominees as well as a new executive compensation plan. They also approved an amendment that could lead to the company paying its shareholders a cash dividend.

"We firmly believe that if we want to be in the media and technology industries, we have to be in both aggressively," Levinsohn told shareholders at the meeting, which also was webcast.

As Yahoo executives have been doing lately, Levinsohn stressed the company's relevance -- even amid withering competition from Google and even Microsoft's Bing nowadays -- by reminding attendees that it boasts 700 million monthly users.

"Providing compelling content and relevant advertising for consumers is a real opportunity and a white space that I think Yahoo can own," he said.

One major bit of video content Yahoo has been touting is Tuesday's planned debut of Electric City, an animated show on the Internet -- Yahoo! Screen, to be exact -- that stars and was created by Tom Hanks. A trailer of the show, produced with Playtone and Reliance Entertainment, is at electriccity.yahoo.com.