Outspoken hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb has discharged another strongly-worded letter to Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang and the board, urging changes at the top to bring the company back from the brink.
Loeb, who heads up the Third Point fund, which holds a 5 per cent stake in Yahoo!, is not content with Yahoo!'s sacking of CEO Carol Bartz, he also wants to see chairman Roy Bostock given his marching orders, which he already called for last week.
After that shout-out to Yahoo!, Loeb got on the phone with Bostock and Yang on Monday in what we can only presume was not a very happy conversation, since according to Loeb's letter, Bostock hung up on him.
Loeb lays much of the blame for Yahoo!'s decline at Bostock's door in his well-worded rant, which was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
Mr Bostock's failure on the call to acknowledge his pivotal role in, and accept responsibility for, the decline of Yahoo! makes clear that he does not intend to voluntarily follow his recently terminated hand-picked executive, Ms Bartz, out the door. It is our strongly held belief that not only has Mr Bostock been a destroyer of value, but also so long as he serves as Chairman of the Board, the Company will not be able to attract the talent it needs and deserves, particularly at the CEO level.
As a Founder and major shareholder of the Company, the abysmal record of the current leadership must be heart-rending to you personally, as well as damaging to your net worth. We urge you to do the right thing for all Yahoo! shareholders and push for desperately needed leadership change.
Loeb claims his calls for Bostock's resignation or termination are based not just on his own personal views and the "prematurely truncated" phone call, but also on chats he's had with "Silicon Valley cognoscenti" and other people who know Bostock and the company.
Unhappy phone calls seem to be par for the course over at Yahoo!, since ex-CEO Carol Bartz was sacked over the phone last week. Bartz had come onboard at Yahoo! to replace Yang as CEO after he rejected a $47.5bn takeover bid from Microsoft – a decision many shareholders were not too chuffed with. Bartz partnered up with Microsoft and shuffled things around at Yahoo!, but wasn't able to revive the company's fortunes swiftly enough. ®