Friday, June 15, 2007

IR Magazine: Dissident Yahoo! shareholder finds following on YouTube

From today's IR Magazine:

Jun 15, 2007

Like-minded voters come out against board slate at AGM

At this week's Yahoo! AGM, although the company's own board slate passed, at least one of its candidates got only 66 percent support. Last year, by contrast, each director got 97 percent or more of shareholder votes, according to company filings.

The exact breakdown of votes won't be known until Yahoo's July SEC filing. But the low approval may be owed in part to the rally led by a dissatisfied retail shareholder, Eric Jackson, using YouTube, blog and wiki.

Jackson, who has a PhD in management from Columbia, has only 100 shares of Yahoo!, but he attracted a group of shareholders that together own 2 mn shares to push his so-called Plan B.

The top points of the proposal called for ousting CEO Terry Semel and seven of the 10 current directors. The plan debuted on Jackson's blog, Breakout Performance, in January. He followed with YouTube postings of himself explaining the plan and campaign-style advertisements for Plan B. He invited comments via wiki. Shareholders pledged their votes on

The dissident campaign got coverage on CNBC and new media outlets and attention from Institutional Shareholder Services.

At the June 12 AGM, Jackson asked Semel a question that left the CEO admitting the company was number two to Google. 'No one ever publicly acknowledged that,' Jackson told Kara Swisher on her All Things Digital video blog.

Semel approached Jackson after the meeting. 'He suggested further dialogue between us,' he tells IR magazine. 'He asked that it be kept private, which, of course, I will respect. That dialogue has now begun. I'm confident we can find some common ground.'

by Anna Snider

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