Yahoo CEO Mayer and co-founder David Filo to step down from Yahoo board

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Assuming the massive hacking disclosures Yahoo made over the past several months don’t derail the Verizon acquisition of the company, CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo co-founder David Filo and four other directors will leave the board after the $4.8 billion deal closes. Yesterday the changes were announced in an SEC “8-K” filing:

[T]he Board has determined that, immediately following the Closing, the size of the Board will be reduced to five (5) directors. 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 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.

Verizon is buying Yahoo’s “core business.” The remaining assets, the company’s multi-billion dollar stake in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, will reside in a company to be called “Altaba Inc.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the name derives from mashing up “alternate” and “Alibaba.” Most financial analysts maintain that nearly two-third’s of Yahoo’s current market value will remain in Altaba.

Mayer was appointed Yahoo CEO in 2012 and took great pains to restore credibility and growth to Yahoo’s core display ad business. She also rebuilt its paid search business. Mayer had a number of successes, but she was ultimately unable to satisfy institutional investor demand for renewed growth, and thus, the company was sold.

Mayer has said she wants to remain at Verizon after the deal concludes. Assuming the deal does close, Verizon will have a challenging task to combine AOL and Yahoo. It will also face the same competitive market pressures — namely Google and Facebook — that prevented Yahoo from regaining its display advertising leadership.

The task of leading the integration of AOL and Yahoo will fall to Marni Walden, Verizon EVP and president of product innovation.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.


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