Yahoo! Holder Building a Dissident Nation
One Yahoo! (YHOO) shareholder is mad and doesn't want to take it anymore.
Frustrated with the Internet giant's loss of more than one-third of its value in 2006, Eric Jackson wants to use the tactics of activist hedge funds -- like the recent high-profile ousting of Home Depot (HD) CEO Robert Nardelli by Relational Investors -- to spark a change at Yahoo!
But while Relational shelled out $1 billion for a 1.2% stake in Home Depot, Jackson doesn't exactly have the same financial muscle: He owns fewer than a thousand shares.
So Jackson is setting about recruiting like-minded individual investors in Yahoo! in what he hopes will amount to a virtual activist investor with so much buying power that the company will be forced to listen. He plans to use blogs, video blogs and wikis as his main arsenal.Jackson already authors Breakout Performance, a well-known blog that offers keen analysis of developments at Yahoo! as well as a way for him to communicate with other investors. On Sunday, he added a short video clip outlining his position for the changes he would like to see at Yahoo! -- what he calls the company's "Plan B" -- to his site. Far from dissident ravings, however, the plan stresses points that many investors have already been mulling in the wake of Yahoo!'s dismal performance. It ranges from replacing CEO Terry Semel with up-and-coming executive Susan Decker (who is widely seen as Semel's eventual successor) to scaling back its convoluted and often overlapping divisions (as was argued by a Yahoo! senior vice president in the widely circulated "Peanut Butter Manifesto.")
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