Yahoo adds Icahn to board

Yahoo sign at the 3GSM telecoms industry trade show in Barcelona on Feb. 11, 2008.


Bob Moon: Activist investor Carl Icahn bought up a bunch of Yahoo stock and started agitating for the company to sell itself to Microsoft. What he ended up buying is growing hostility from the entrenched executive suite at Yahoo and now, just when it looked like he might not beat 'em, he's joining Yahoo's board.

The settlement between the two sides heads off a showdown over control of the company at the August 1 shareholder meeting. But as Marketplace's Dan Grech reports, Icahn is still looking for a good return on his investment.

Dan Grech: Billionaire investor Carl Icahn owns 5 percent of Yahoo, making him the company's second biggest investor. He's used that position to push for a sale to Microsoft and to try to remove Yahoo's CEO. This morning, Icahn gave up his most recent campaign to replace Yahoo's current board with a rival slate.

Michael Gartenberg is with Jupiter Research. He says Icahn may appear to have lost these battles, but he's determined to keep on fighting. Icahn and two allies now have seats inside Yahoo's boardroom.

Michael Gartenberg: The walls have now been breached. Icahn didn't go through all this effort to get a seat on the board, to put two of his directors on the board, because he thought Yahoo's business was doing just fine as it was.

In a statement, Icahn said he will still push to sell Yahoo's search business or the company as a whole. Yahoo has been hurt by a softening ad market and competition from rival Google.

Yahoo reports its quarterly earnings tomorrow.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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As a very small time investor, I would like to see a coming together to be activist. How about pressuring Walmart to give some of their billions and give a little bonus to their employees? Or Comcast give back to their customers. Customers and empolyees are the big losers in the race to excessive profits and excessive COE and board compensation.

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