Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock to step down

By Telecom
Lead Team: Digital media company Yahoo announced that its chairman Roy Bostock
and three board members will be stepping down.

After Yahoo
hired former PayPal executive Scott Thompson as its CEO a few days into the new
year, co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the board and severed all other ties
with the company that he helped start in 1995.

Bostock is
departing after four years as chairman. Many shareholders blame him and Yang
for squandering an opportunity to sell Yahoo to Microsoft in May 2008 for $47.5
billion, or $33 per share.

In a move
that will give Thompson an even cleaner slate as he tries to come up with a new
strategy, Yahoo board members Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson also
agreed not to seek re-election at Yahoo’s shareholders meeting in June.

Kern, a
former radio station owner, has been on Yahoo’s board for more than 15 years.
Wilson, a former airline executive, has been a director since 2001, and Joshi,
a Hewlett-Packard Co. executive, has been a director since 2005.

Yahoo said
it is conducting a search for additional directors. The company, which is based
in Sunnyvale, has become accustomed to upheaval. Thompson is the company’s
fourth CEO in less than five years.

Bringing in
new directors to work with Thompson will provide Yahoo with the expertise and
perspectives necessary to drive innovation and growth,” Bostock wrote in a
letter Tuesday announcing his plans.

Yahoo is
trying to generate some cash that could be used for acquisitions or shareholder
dividends by selling its stakes in China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. The
proposed deal requires clearing some tax hurdles and addressing other issues
that Bostock indicated could take a long time to resolve. The negotiations
already have been going on since last fall.

complexity and unique nature of these transactions is significant. While we
continue to devote significant resources to these discussions, we are not in a
position at this time to provide further detail or to provide assurance that
any transaction will be achieved,” Bostock wrote Tuesday.

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