Icahn resigns from Yahoo's board on friendly terms

October 24, 2009 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technlogy Writer

(AP) -- Activist investor Carl Icahn has decided his work is done at Yahoo Inc. after muscling his way on to the slumping Internet company's board nearly 15 months ago.

In a resignation letter Friday, Icahn said he felt like it was time to leave so he could spend more time on his investments in other companies.

"I don't believe that it is necessary at this time to have an activist on the board of Yahoo and currently my attention is focused on other matters," Icahn wrote.

Icahn, an outspoken billionaire, spent several months last year denigrating Yahoo co-founder and the rest of the company's board after Yahoo turned down an opportunity to sell to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share.

That snub still looks like an expensive mistake, with Yahoo shares closing Friday at $17.22.

Icahn struck a truce with Yahoo to get on the board in August 2008 and he is apparently leaving on an amicable note.

In his letter, Icahn praised Yahoo's current chief executive, Carol Bartz, saying she is "doing a great job." Bartz replaced Yang as CEO nine months ago.

Icahn also applauded Yahoo's decision three months ago to hire Microsoft to provide its search results in the United States for the next decade. It's a partnership that Icahn tried to bring together while he was still seeking to get Yang fired. The proposed alliance between Yahoo and still requires regulatory approval.

Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, also had kind words for Icahn, saying it is "grateful for his active role in shaping the future" of the company.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said there are no immediate plans to fill Icahn's seat on the board. Another director, Maggie Wilderotter, plans to step aside at the end of the year.

After Wilderotter's departure, Yahoo will be left with 10 directors, including Yang. Two of other directors, John Chapple and Frank Biondi, joined the board as Icahn's allies.

Icahn remains one of Yahoo's largest shareholders with a 4.5 percent stake that is currently worth slightly more than $1 billion. He and his investment affiliates spent $1.8 billion accumulating a 5.5 percent stake last year, but whittled the holdings two months ago by selling 12.7 million shares.

His resignation letter gave no indication whether he plans to sell more of his Yahoo stock now that he has left the board.

Yahoo's fortunes have been sliding for the past three years as Google Inc. widened its lead in Internet's lucrative search market and people began spending more time at other popular online hangouts such as Facebook.

Earlier this week, the company announced that its third-quarter earnings more than tripled as cost cutting helped to offset a 12 percent decline in revenue. The revenue erosion wasn't quite as bad as earlier this year, raising hopes that the company will fare better as the U.S. economy pulls out of its worst recession in 70 years.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Icahn pares Yahoo stake with sale of 12.7M shares

Related Stories

Icahn pares Yahoo stake with sale of 12.7M shares

August 31, 2009

(AP) -- Financier Carl Icahn, one of Yahoo Inc.'s largest stockholders, has sold 12.7 million shares to whittle his holdings in the slumping Internet company down a percentage point to a 4.5 percent stake.

Yahoo director to step down at end of year

September 25, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. director Maggie Wilderotter plans to step down from the slumping Internet company's board at the end of this year. The resignation will leave Yahoo with 11 directors.

Yahoo's Yang gets $1 in rocky final year as CEO

April 30, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. limited co-founder Jerry Yang's 2008 compensation package to his customary $1 salary during his final year as chief executive, a tumultuous reign that unraveled after he rebuffed Microsoft Corp.'s $47.5 ...

Yahoo CEO promises shareholders to get 'mojo back'

June 25, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz echoed the turnaround promises of her predecessors as she presided over the first shareholder meeting since her hiring, yet she left little doubt the slumping Internet company's ...

Icahn: Motorola Should Fix Problems Before Buyback

April 15, 2007

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn sent a letter to Motorola Inc. shareholders calling for the No.2 mobile phone maker to fix its operational problems, saying that took precedence to a share buyback.

Yahoo open to Microsoft deal under right terms

May 27, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc.'s chief executive said Wednesday that she is open to joining forces with Microsoft Corp. so both companies can better compete in Internet search, but a deal would need a specific set of terms - including ...

Recommended for you

What do you get when you cross an airplane with a submarine?

February 15, 2018

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed the first unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft that is capable of traveling both through the air and under the water – transitioning repeatedly between sky and sea. ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.