Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Will Resign, Settlement With Dissident Shareholder Near: AllThingsD

Things are still in flux — the Yahoo board is meeting this morning to discuss, AllThingsD reports. Still, the ability of hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to force Yahoo’s hand raises big questions about the company’s strategic direction. For now, it seems that Global Media Head Ross Levinsohn will step in as interim CEO after Thompson resigns for “personal reasons.” He got the job in January, but has  been under fire since early this month when Loeb disclosed that Thompson had misrepresented his bachelors’ degree, something that Yahoo apparently hadn’t double checked. The company initially said it was an “inadvertent” mistake. Loeb, whose Third Point investment firm owns 5.8% of Yahoo shares, was already waging a proxy fight to have himself and three colleagues — former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Zucker, media consultant Michael Wolf, and corporate restructuring specialist Harry Wilson — named to the board. AllThingsD says that in a plan under discussion, five Yahoo directors will leave immediately clearing the way for Loeb, Wolf and Wilson; Zucker will withdraw. Loeb has been urging the company to clarify its mission and simplify its structure to focus more on its media assets. Loeb wants the company to add to its 40% stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Holding Group — the company has been looking to raise cash by selling some of its shares. For the most part, though, Loeb has attacked Yahoo’s management for stiff-arming shareholders such as himself while the company struggles to keep pace with rivals led by Google and Facebook. Thompson, a former technology executive at PayPal, came aboard after Yahoo fired the previous CEO, Carol Bartz. in September. Yahoo’s shares are -18.6% over the last 12 months and -50% over the last five years.

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