Yahoo! to Investors: Back Our Board

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Yahoo! ( YHOO) is urging investors to back its board as the embattled Internet giant continues to fight off activist investor Daniel Loeb.

In a letter to shareholders on Wednesday, Yahoo!'s board outlined the company's "forward momentum" and urged investors to reject Loeb's slate of board nominees.
Yahoo!'s board has outlined the company's forward momentum in a letter to shareholders.

Loeb's Third Point made an unsuccessful attempt to clinch four seats on the Yahoo! board back in March. In addition to himself, Loeb wanted to add Harry Wilson, Michael Wolf and Jeff Zucker, formerly of NBC Universal, to the board. Loeb wants Yahoo! to unlock the value of its Asian assets, most notably Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan.

As a compromise, Yahoo! offered Third Point two board seats, including one of the hedge fund's own nominees and a "mutually agreeable candidate," according to Wednesday's letter. Loeb, however, "declined to end his proxy solicitation on that basis," Yahoo! added.

Yahoo! has appointed five directors to its board this year, including John Hayes, chief marketing officer of American Express ( AXP), Peter Liguori, former chief operating officer of Discovery Communications ( DISCA), and Thomas McInerney, the former chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IACI).

"We are confident that when you assess our new board's qualifications against Third Point's slate, you will come to the same conclusion that we did--that this is the right board with the right mix of skills and experience to lead the company forward to create value for shareholders," noted Yahoo!, in its letter.

Third Point has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

Last month Yahoo! announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs in an attempt to get back on track.

Speaking during the company's recent first-quarter conference call, CEO Scott Thompson also said that Yahoo! is cutting 50 properties in an effort to be nimbler and improve profitability.

As part of its organizational overhaul, Yahoo! began operating in three groups -- Consumer, Regions and Technology -- on May 1.

"Each of these three groups will have clear accountability for getting results by delivering the best customer experiences," explained Yahoo!'s board, in the letter released on Wednesday. "This more efficient structure will enable faster decision-making and more effective delivery of innovative products and services that measurably impact the bottom line."

Yahoo! shares crept up 10 cents, or 0.61%, to $15.73 in midday action.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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