Yahoo investors wax eloquent

August 1, 2008

yahoo.jpgSome Yahoo shareholders are mad, some are sad and some have a remarkable handle on the English language.

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)

2 comments

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 http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

If there was never a compelling offer from Microsoft, the $33 per share offer was just a put-on by Microsoft to screw with Yahoo’s shareholders’ head to get rid of Jerry Yang. Beside the deal might never be approved by DOJ.

Posted by allowme | Report as abusive

There is allot of after the fact guessing. The 1200 shareholder mentioned in the article has a net worth worth about $20,000 less without a bid. Did the Board and Management mention how that kind of value will be realized again. No…without a bid from someone it won’t.

Posted by marketwatcher | Report as abusive