Yahoo Reaches Deal With Activist Investor Starboard

Marissa Mayer - H 2016
Courtesy of Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer - H 2016

Four new members are added to Yahoo's board ahead of a possible sale.

Amid a battle over its future as an independent web giant, Yahoo has announced a deal with Starboard Value, the activist firm that has been pushing for a change in management.

Starboard will now have its chief executive Jeffrey C. Smith added to Yahoo's board, along with Tor Braham, Eddy Hartenstein and Richard Hill. As part of the agreement, Starboard has quashed its proxy fight with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer by withdrawing its director nominees.

Yahoo has been flummoxed by stalled growth while its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has compelled examination about what it should do next. Originally, Yahoo planned to spin off its stake, but given the tax ramifications, it backed off that track. More recently, a sale of Yahoo's assets has been explored with Verizon seen as a favorite to win Yahoo's core internet business, with private equity firms and some publishing houses also circling the business.

Analysts expect the new board members to add some dealmaking experience as Yahoo potentially moves toward such a sale.