Yahoo’s Board which recently appointed three new independent directors, effective April 5, 2012: John D. Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of American Express Company; Peter Liguori, former Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Communications, Inc. and former Chairman and President of Entertainment of Fox Broadcasting Network; and Thomas J. McInerney, the outgoing Chief Financial Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp. Third Point’s Dan Loeb, the activist Yahoo shareholder, fired back at the company, reports AllThingsD.
“Our view of the nomination process is further reinforced by your explanation on Sunday as to why I would not be an acceptable Director. You told me that the Board felt my experience and knowledge ‘would not be additive to the Board’ and that as Yahoo!’s largest outside shareholder, I would be ‘conflicted’ as a Director, wrote Loeb to CEO Scott Thompson.
“Am I conflicted to advocate for the interests of other shareholders because we are owners of 5.8% (over $1 billion) of Yahoo! shares (unlike the non-retiring and proposed board members who have never purchased a single share of Yahoo! except for subsidized shares issued through option exercises and shares “paid” by the Company in lieu of fees)? Only in an illogical Alice-in-Wonderland world would a shareholder be deemed to be conflicted from representing the interests of other shareholders because he is, well, a shareholder too. This sentiment further confirms that Yahoo!’s approach to Board representation is “shareholders not welcome.”