Finally, Yahoo’s woes regarding the proxy battle that Carl Icahn has waged against the Yahoo Board has ended. Both parties have agreed to settle the dispute, with Mr. Icahn getting a seat on the current Yahoo Board, in exchange for, yes shutting up and possibly help out in leading the company to prosperity? We could only hope so.
Of course the agreement doesn’t come without some conditions. In this case, eight of the Yahoo’s current Board of Directors will run for re-election at the upcoming Annual Shareholders meeting on August 1. These Board members are Roy Bostock, Ronald Burkle, Eric Hippeau, Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern, Mary Agnes Wilderotter, Gary Wilsong and of course Jerry Yang. One member of the current board, Robert Kotick will not run for re-election to give way for Mr. Icahn’s appointment after the 2008 annual meeting. In addition the current Yahoo Board composition will be expanded to 11 members. With Icahn taking Kotick’s place and the two remaining slots will be filled up by two member coming from Icahn’s slate.
The agreement also calls for Mr. Icahn withdrawing his nominations and supporting the Board nomineees.
Now here’s what the major players of these issue have to say about the agreement:
“We look forward to working productively with Carl and the new members of the Board on continuing to improve the Company’s performance and enhancing stockholder value. Yahoo! is a world-class company with an extremely bright future, and collaborating together, I believe we can help the Company achieve its ambitious goals.” – Roy Bostock
“No other company in the Internet space has our unique combination of global brand, talented employees, innovative technologies and exceptional assets, attributes that will help us take advantage of the large and growing opportunity ahead of us. I look forward to working together with our new colleagues on the Board to make that happen.”- Jerry Yang
And Mr. Icahn’s long statement:
“I am very pleased that this settlement will allow me to work in partnership with Yahoo!’s Board and management team to help the Company achieve its full potential. While I continue to believe that the sale of the whole Company or the sale of its Search business in the right transaction must be given full consideration, I share the view that Yahoo!’s valuable collection of assets positions it well to continue expanding its online leadership and enhancing returns to stockholders. I believe this is a good outcome and that we will have a strong working relationship going forward. Additionally, I am happy that the board has agreed in the settlement agreement that any meaningful transaction, including the strategy in dealing with that transaction, will be fully discussed with the entire board before any final decision is made.”
There, hopefully all’s well that ends well between Yahoo and Icahn.
As for Microsoft, maybe it’s time to move on and look for another company to acquire. AOL seems to be the closest prospect right now. Or, who knows, with Icahn soon to be on Yahoo’s Board, things might change later on in favor of Microsoft.