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Is! Yahoo! dead?! Why! web! biz! will! rename! to! Altaba! – the! truth!

Verizon deal looks like it could go ahead

By Iain Thomson, 10 Jan 2017

Marissa Mayer, the CEO of perennial drain-circler Yahoo!, will step down from its board of directors, along with five other members, after Verizon finishes gobbling up most of the internet portal.

And once the acquisition is over, the remaining carcass of Yahoo! will change its name to Altaba Inc.

In an SEC filing today, Yahoo! stated that once the Verizon takeover is complete – presumably after the US telco haggles Yahoo! down from its $4.8bn price tag following some serious brand tarnishing – Mayer will quit Yahoo!'s board of directors.

(It's assumed she'll walk the plank all the way, and quit the biz completely post-acquisition, although she earlier insisted she's going nowhere after the takeover. If she does eject, she'll float away on a potentially $55m golden parachute studded with rubies and emeralds.)

What's basically going to happen is this: assuming everything goes according to plan, Verizon is going to gobble up Yahoo!'s brands and operations, leaving behind an investment wing that owns a slice of Chinese web bazaar Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. That investment vehicle will be renamed from Yahoo! to Altaba, allowing Verizon to continue using the Yahoo! brand. So no, Yahoo! is not completely dead and the! exclamation! point! is! not! going! to! die! any! time! soon! it! seems!

"Immediately following the closing [of the takeover] the size of the [Yahoo!] board will be reduced to five directors," today's filing reads.

"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 [Yahoo! cofounder] 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."

Mayer joined Yahoo! in 2012 after a long stint at Google, and was charged with resurrecting the Purple Palace to something approaching its former glories. Sadly, despite some acquisitions and a rethinking of the company's priorities towards mobile, little has changed at Yahoo! and investors are getting nervous.

Despite her faltering tenure at Yahoo!, and whatever the outcome of the Verizon takeover, it's likely Mayer will laugh it off. ®

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