Yahoo! May Replace Board Members: Report

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Several board members may be departing Yahoo! ( YHOO), according to a media report, as speculation continues to mount about the company's strategy.

Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo! director Patti Hart is leading the search. The company has hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International to help search for new board members, The Journal said, noting that all nine Yahoo! board members are up for re-election this year.

Yahoo! may be appointing new board members in the near future.

"I think the board is feeling a lot of pressure, especially from Third Point LLC's Dan Loeb," said Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital. "There is a deadline on February 24 to submit nominations for possible new board members, and I think the board is aware of this, and this may be the reason for the new appointments."

Activist investor Loeb has previously been very critical of the company, having called out the board of directors, and asked for the resignation of co-founder Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock.

Jackson believes that Loeb, who owns nearly 5.2% of the stock, may decide to try to nominate his own board members. The board, however, could counter by saying that it has just brought in new board members, according to Jackson.

He also speculated on which board members could be replaced, noting that "grey-hair types" could be gone. "Roy Bostock, Art Kern, Gary Wilson are names I think could be replaced," Jackson said. He believes, however, co-founder Jerry Yang will likely stay on.

Jackson is long Yahoo! shares.

Yahoo! has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story.

Yahoo! announced on Wednesday that Scott Thompson of eBay ( EBAY) subsidiary PayPal would its new CEO, effective Jan. 9.

Thompson will receive an annual base salary of $1 million, according to his compensation agreement.

Yahoo! shares closed down on Friday, off 0.8% to $15.52.

Interested in more on Yahoo? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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