Microhoo latest: Icahn and his Nine Merry Men

July 14, 2008

He talked, he cajoled, he wrote stern letters, and issued threatening press releases. Now, it’s really on: Activist investor Carl Icahn filed a proxy on Monday to nominate a slate of nine directors to replace Yahoo’s board and to oust co-founder and current CEO Jerry Yang.

This came after a weekend dust-up in which Yahoo’s board on Saturday night rejected a joint proposal by Icahn and Microsoft for Yahoo to sell its search business to Microsoft and fork over the rest of the company to Icahn.

Icahn, who owns around 5 percent of Yahoo, filed a list that included a good share of well known media investor types, including former Viacom chief Frank Biondi and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team.

Then, this morning, both sides let loose eight regulatory filings within a couple of hours.

In a letter to shareholders Monday morning, Icahn solicits their support of a Microsoft/Icahn offer:

Our company is now moving toward a precipice. It is currently losing market share in its “Search” function, our current Board has failed to bring in a talented and experienced CEO to replace Jerry Yang and return Jerry to his role as Chief Yahoo, and currently it is witnessing a meaningful exodus of talent.

No wonder Jerry’s head is on the table.

Keep an eye on:

  • Apple says it sold 1 million iPhones in its first weekend – (Reuters)
  • Publisher Reed Elsevier is on the hunt for a new CEO, sources say – (Reuters)
  • China Olympics security undermines media freedoms, experts say – (Reuters)
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