Yahoo to change name of major part of its business

Verizon reviewing $4.8bn purchase following hacking revelations

Harry Cockburn
Tuesday 10 January 2017 02:27
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Marissa Mayer will stand down if the deal with Verizon goes through
Marissa Mayer will stand down if the deal with Verizon goes through

Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer is to step down from the board and part of the company is to change its name if a $4.8bn (£3.95bn) deal with Verizon goes ahead.

Ms Mayer, along with Yahoo co-founder David Filo and four other board members, will leave the group if the deal goes through, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

The move comes amid news that the deal with Verizon was thrown into doubt following a fresh hacking scandal at Yahoo which was revealed last month.

Yahoo said hackers stole date from more than a billion user accounts in August 2013, in a separate attack from one it had disclosed in September, in which 500 million accounts were compromised.

The hack is thought to be the biggest in history, and last week Verizon said it would evaluate the situation as Yahoo investigates and would review the “new development before reaching any final conclusions”.

The company plans to change its name to Altaba after it turns over its email, websites, mobile apps and advertising tools to Verizon.

The new name is meant to reflect Yahoo's transformation into a holding company for investments in China's e-commerce leader Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan that are worth about more than 40 billion dollars (£33bn) in total.

In the SEC filing, Yahoo said: “In light of the fact that following the Closing the Company will operate as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Board has determined that, immediately following the Closing, the size of the Board will be reduced to five (5) directors.

“Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith will continue to serve as directors of the Company following the Closing, and Mr Brandt will serve as Chairman of the Board.

“Each of David Filo, Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill, Marissa Mayer, Jane Shaw and Maynard Webb has indicated that he or she intends to resign from the Board effective upon the Closing, and that his or her intention to resign is not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices.”

Ms Mayer was Yahoo’s sixth chief executive, who had tried to turn round the company. She left Google to join the company in 2012, taking a pay package worth more than $59m.

She was the world’s highest paid female chief executive in 2014, and if the deal with Verizon goes ahead, is expected to walk away from Yahoo with a severance package of approximately $55m.

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