Yahoo investors wax eloquent
Despite the odds going into today’s annual meeting, Yahoo’s board and CEO Jerry Yang won a huge endorsement from shareholders. Yang alone won more than 85 percent of votes cast despite calls by some for his ouster.
But that didn’t dampen the festivities at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Here are a few choice quotes from the meeting, where investors were invited to lament over failed deal talks with Microsoft, rich compensation for executives and Yahoo’s stance on Internet censorship.
“I’d like to see timesheets posted on the Internet for the work of the directors as well as the executives of the company,” said Dirk Neyhart, a retired stockbroker from Berkeley, California, who said he holds less than 1,000 shares of Yahoo.
“I would be more than happy to submit timesheets for the work that I have done in the last 6 months. It’s been about 26 hours in the course of a 24-hour day,” said Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock.
“There was never a compelling offer put on the table. That never occurred in this process,” Bostock said on Microsoft.
“Carl is a smart guy. He is a good guy despite some of the things that are written about him,” Bostock said on billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn.
“I think you have overpaid in terms of executive compensation, overplayed your hand with Microsoft and overstayed your welcome on the board,” said Eric Jackson, holder of 250 Yahoo shares and head of a coalition of investors with 3.2 million shares.
“I think the board’s decision was a correct one (on Microsoft). As an investor, I was kind of sweating along with them as they went through their deliberations … I think Microsoft is the wrong corporation (for Yahoo),” said Richard Lammerding, 71, of Cloverdale, California, who with his wife, says he owns 1,200 shares.
Lammerding also labeled Microsoft an “over-the-hill, green-tentacled octopus from Redmond. My support and my wife’s support is with this board and this management team.”
(Photo of Yahoo investor Henry Lee leaving annual shareholder meeting: Reuters)