Yahoo’s Decker on Icahn: The “audacity of hope”?

July 23, 2008

icahn1.jpgAs volte faces go, the Yahoo-Carl Icahn slugfest-turned-lovefest is a definite keeper for some future annal of corporate history. Until last week, Yahoo couldn’t slam Icahn enough, mocking the activist investor’s knowledge of technology, calling his agenda risky, and pointing to his failure to articulate clear alternatives to a Microsoft deal.

But since they made nice on Monday, rest assured we’re going to hear nothing but a din of welcome notes from Yahoo, as they sell to shareholders the idea that Icahn and his two designees are good for the board.

Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock set the sweet, full-of-possibility tone about Icahn on Monday, and Yahoo President Sue Decker picked up where he left off in a CNBC interview today:

I have not met Carl. I think you really have to distinguish what happens in a PR war and proxy contest from reality. I’m totally looking forward to meeting him. I’d love for him to learn about our business and I’d love to get his advice. So there are absolutely no hard feelings of any sort. I think the best thing I can say is that we’re moving forward and we’ll have the distractions behind us, and I want that for our employees and I want that for our company.

Yahoo shareholders may buy into the company’s new attitude and vote accordingly at next Friday’s annual shareholder meeting. But proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis, which recommended that shareholders vote against three directors, did issue a word of caution about Icahn: “Shareholders should monitor Mr. Icahn’s ability to devote sufficient time and attention to the company.”

And The Wall Street Journal too wondered, in a recent story, if Yahoo might come to regret its move.

(Photo: Reuters)

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see