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Yahoo names 2 Icahn allies to the board

August 15, 2008|Joseph Menn | Times Staff Writer

Yahoo Inc. on Thursday named former Viacom Inc. leader Frank Biondi Jr. and former Nextel Partners boss John Chapple to its board of directors, fulfilling a promise it made to settle a proxy fight with dissident investor Carl Icahn.

Both men had been on a slate of candidates for the board Icahn nominated after Yahoo was not sold to Microsoft Corp. After it became apparent that Icahn wouldn't win enough shareholder votes to win control of the board, he accepted a compromise that gave him one seat and let Yahoo pick two of his allies for additional seats.

"Frank's extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, combined with John's deep management experience in telecommunications, will provide valuable perspectives to our already diverse board," Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to working with them as our board continues its ongoing efforts to enhance stockholder value."

Biondi was chief executive of Universal Studios from 1996 to 1998. Before that, he spent more than eight years as CEO of Viacom. Chapple was CEO of Nextel Partners from 1998 until 2006, when Sprint Corp. bought the company.

Former AOL chief Jonathan Miller, an ally of both Icahn and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, had been seen as a shoo-in for the board. But Miller's candidacy was derailed Aug. 1 when AOL parent Time Warner Inc. invoked the noncompete clause he had signed.

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joseph.menn@latimes.com

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