Activist Investor: Take Yahoo! Option No. 3
Adam Dell: The younger brother of Michael Dell, he is a Web venture capitalist. He has arguably the most "Internet experience" of anyone on Icahn's slate. He also knows Yahoo! well through selling HotJobs to the company.
Lucian Bebchuk: The Harvard professor is director of Harvard Law School's program on corporate governance. He is also an esteemed researcher and outspoken critic on excessive executive compensation. He would be the perfect antidote for what ails Yahoo! on that particular issue.
John Chapple: He is the former CEO of Nextel Partners, which he sold to Sprint (S). If nothing else, he understands the virtues (for his shareholders at least) of selling high rather than selling low. We would welcome such perspectives on Yahoo!'s board. He also brings Fortune 500 CEO experience to the board table.
Edward Meyer: He is the former CEO of large advertising agency Grey Global Group. Yahoo! needs to sell to advertisers like Grey if it is to have a future. Therefore, Meyer will ensure that perspective is represented on the new board.
Why shouldn't Icahn or his deputy Keith Meister be elected? I want Icahn to win outright, but I am putting forward this "Third Option" because I fear several large shareholders will worry about the operational abilities of Icahn and his team. As I said earlier, I support them and believe they are more than fit to serve on this board. Icahn has done a great service to Yahoo! shareholders by running this proxy contest. If he wasn't, we would only be able to vote for the existing board members.
But the "Third Option" is about electing a "short slate" of directors with highly relevant professional, industry and research experience to make Yahoo!'s board better. These four nominees meet that criteria and will be, I believe, appealing to a majority of investors.
To move forward as Yahoo! shareholders, we need to turn the page with this "Third Option" and not remain stuck in the past with the existing failed board.Most Yahoo! shareholders I've communicated with since the breakdown in discussions between Microsoft and Yahoo! last week are still numb and angry. From Feb. 1 to May 3, Yahoo! shares were valued at $31 (and briefly verbally valued at $33), before the bottom fell out of the talks. Today, those shares are at $23, with no prospect of increased value in the foreseeable future. Yahoo! appears comfortable with its new deal to partially use the market monopolistic leader for paid search ads. Microsoft, and its 61% premium offer, appears to be gone, for now. Hence the need for this "Third Option."
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