SAN FRANCISCO -
Chief Executive Frank Biondi and former Nextel Chief Executive John Chapple to its board of directors, marking the official end to a protracted battle waged by billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
Biondi and Chapple will join Icahn on the board as part of a compromise hammered out with Yahoo!'s directors in an effort to avoid an all-out proxy fight, which Icahn had threatened in May as a response to Yahoo!'s failure to reach a merger deal with
Board Chairman Roy Bostock offered the two new members a flattering welcome on Thursday, in contrast to jabs that he and Icahn exchanged in the months leading up to the compromise.
"We are pleased to add people of Frank's and John's caliber to our board," Bostock said. "Frank's extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, combined with John's deep management experience in telecommunications, will provide valuable perspectives to our already diverse board. We look forward to working with them as our board continues its ongoing efforts to enhance stockholder value."
Biondi has served as senior managing director of WaterView Advisors, a private equity limited partnership focused on media and entertainment. From April 1996 to November 1998, he served as CEO of Universal Studios and from July 1987 to January 1996, he was CEO of Viacom.
Chapple has served as president of Hawkeye Investments, a privately owned equity firm focused in telecommunications and real estate ventures. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Nextel from January 1998 to June 2006, when the company was purchased by
Together, Chapple, Biondi and Icahn will serve on Yahoo!'s expanded board of 11 members. Both Chapple and Biondi were picked from Icahn's original dissident slate that he had put together for the proxy fight. Icahn had also recommended former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller but
, which owns AOL, blocked his nomination.
Shareholders reelected the remaining board members at the annual meeting. Board member Robert Kotick stepped down as part of Yahoo!'s compromise with Icahn.
In the months leading up to the meeting, Bostock and Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang had faced much criticism in their handling of the merger deal with Microsoft, which ultimately collapsed. Shareholders showed their anger by withholding 39.6% votes for Bostock and 33.7% for Yang on Aug. 1.
The expanded board will have its work cut out for it as investors put increasing pressure on Yahoo! to realize a turnaround. But many observers on Wall Street are skeptical that will happen anytime soon.