Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to unveil 'new strategy' as Starboard piles on the pressure

Mayer to defend turnaround efforts after activist hedge fund called on Yahoo to slash costs, halt acquisitions and unlock value of Asian assets.

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Marissa Mayer is set to unveil details of Yahoo's turnaround plan after coming under pressure from activist hedge fund Starboard Value.

Mayer will defend her acqui-hires after approving more than two dozen acquisitions since joining the company in 2012 and outline Yahoo's cost-cutting efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In an acqui-hire, Yahoo buys a failed start-up in order to hire the team behind it. While promising to do less of them, Yahoo still plans to acquire one or more large start-ups using the cash from the Alibaba IPO the Journal said, citing a person briefed on the plan.

Mayer's strategy has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks after Starboard Value called on the 38-year old to halt acquisitions and cut Yahoo's "bloated" structure.

 

Starboard, led by activist investor Jeff Smith, also argued Yahoo should explore a possible merger with AOL and monetise its Asian assets- Alibaba and Yahoo Japan- in a tax efficient way.

Yahoo's share price has risen under Mayer, but the rise partly comes down to the increase in value of its Alibaba stake in the run-up to last month's monster IPO.

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But, with the Chinese e-commerce giant trading as a public company, Yahoo risks losing its edge as investors no longer need to buy its shares to get a piece of Alibaba.

Earlier this month, Yahoo announced it would lay off 400 employees at its Bangalore, India, office and close its Jordan office altogether as it scales back its overseas operations in an effort to slash costs.

Yahoo is set to report third quarter earnings tomorrow.

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