Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time for a Yahoo! Board Reboot

There's a great post from Kara Swisher this morning, which tips the cap to Sue Decker for stepping down from Yahoo! now and also calling for Roy Bostock to do the same. I want to second her sentiments.

Chairman Roy Bostock has repeatedly blown off criticisms of his botched handling of last year's Microsoft's negotiations by suggesting it was all because of Microsoft that a deal didn't get done.

He was dismissive of my suggestion at last August's annual meeting that he step down after 30+% of shareholders voted against his reelection in 2007. He said I was looking at it with a glass half-empty mentality. A few days later, we learned that well over 40% of shareholders voted against him at that August meeting. The figure would have been well over 50% had Carl Icahn's gold proxies from the previously called off proxy fight had been counted against Bostock.

If Carol Bartz wants to send the message that Yahoo! now has a performance culture, she should turn around and fire the guy who just hired her: Roy Bostock.

As Kara also says, she should then point her eyes on other directors. Gary Wilson and Ron Burkle -- like Bostock -- have received sizable protest votes from past annual meetings from investors. They came in weeks after Semel was hired (both are LA residents like Semel). Art Kern and Eric Hippeau have served on this board for over 12 years. That's not exactly a pair of fresh eyes they bring to the decision-making process. Finally, Kara suggests her sources said several directors wanted to be CEO. This is likely John Chapple and Maggie Wilderotter. They might also want to move on (even though they're relatively new to the group) to avoid any Bartz back-seat drivers.

Carol and Jerry need to hit "re-boot" to this board to really refresh this company.

Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus