Praise, critiques at Yahoo meeting

One shareholder proposes stricter stance on China

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Yahoo's annual meeting kicked off here Friday with some praise and some criticism.

The firm's board has met about 30 times in the past six months amid takeover proposals from Microsoft Corp. and pressure from investor Carl Icahn, chairman Roy Bostock said in opening the tech firm's shareholder gathering.

He thanked his fellow directors for their hard work and also welcomed other key people in attendance, including Yahoo co-founder David Filo.

Meanwhile, one shareholder proposing that Yahoo take a stricter stance against China when doing business there called Yahoo's board "moral pygmies," adding that this may insult the pygmies.

"I hope he enjoys the Olympics," he said about CEO Jerry Yang in closing.

One shareholder said he would like to see time sheets posted online on what kind of work the Yahoo team does. Bostock replied he'd like to do that. "It would be 36 hours out of a 24-hour day," he quipped.

The Microsoft and Icahn drama of recent months did not seem to result in major investor turnout here.

An estimated 120-150 shareholders came out to the giant ballroom of the downtown Fairmont Hotel. In addition, dozens of Yahoo staff in their company's signature purple shirts were in attendance.

Outside the ballroom, the purple shirts showed off Yahoo mobile, search and finance products before the meeting.

"The company seems to be doing well still," said one shareholder before the meeting, pointing at the big fruit and pastry plates set up for investors big and small.