Scott Thompson has stepped down as Yahoo! CEO and has been replaced, for the time being at least, by Ross Levinsohn. Several directors, namely Patti Hart, VJ Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson, have also left the company.
The departures are a big win for Third Point LLC, an investment company that says it is Yahoo!'s largest outside shareholder; it recently issued a public letter in which it called into question the veracity of a Computer Science degree on Thompson’s CV.
The letter also accused search committee chair Patti Hart of making a similar error in her CV.
Third Point’s letter stated “we believe the Yahoo! Board requires fresh, outside perspectives from individuals who have no connection to a failed regime and have the expertise to address the serious challenges facing the Company. It is also critical that these individuals possess the highest levels of integrity and exhibit diligence and due care in all their dealings”.
Third Point seems to have achieved its goal, with its CEO Daniel Loeb and two nominees - Harry J. Wilson, and Michael J. Wolf - to join the Yahoo! board.
Loeb said, in Yahoo!’s press release about the changes, that he is “delighted to join the Yahoo! board and work collaboratively with our fellow directors to foster a culture of leadership dedicated to innovation, excellence in corporate governance, and responsiveness to users, advertisers and partners. We are confident this Board will benefit from shareholder representation, and we are committed to working with new leadership to unlock Yahoo!'s significant potential and value".
One survivor is Roy Bostock, “who has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman in order to accelerate the leadership transition for the new board”. ®