John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

This Meeting of Yahoo Directors Is Now Called to Order–No Heckling, Carl


To trust Mr. Icahn and his board is really a bad choice.”

–Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang, July 9, 2008

Having so persuasively argued that Carl Icahn is a doddering Luddite with no articulated plan for Yahoo other than the company’s sale to Microsoft, Yahoo has taken the logical next step and appointed the activist shareholder to its board of directors.

This morning Yahoo (YHOO) said it has an reached agreement to settle its proxy battle with Icahn. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will appoint the investor to its board along with two other directors from his dissident slate. In exchange, Icahn, who owns about five percent of Yahoo common shares, will abandon his proxy fight for the company.

In a statement, Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock welcomed the man he’s spent the past few months belittling. “We are gratified to have reached this agreement, which serves the best interests of all Yahoo! stockholders,” Bostock said. “We look forward to working productively with Carl and the new members of the Board on continuing to improve the Company’s performance and enhancing stockholder value. Yahoo! is a world-class company with an extremely bright future, and collaborating together, I believe we can help the Company achieve its ambitious goals.”

Icahn too said he’s happy with the arrangement, though he’d still like to sell Yahoo to Microsoft (MSFT). And now that he’s claimed a seat on Yahoo’s board perhaps he can. Clearly, he’s not the “current Yahoo management” with which Microsoft has said it’s unwilling to negotiate a full purchase.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald