Yahoo Inc., in an attempt to “reshape and refocus” itself, appointed three new independent directors to its board, including a top executive from American Express Co. But the move isn’t passing muster with activist investor Daniel Loeb, who plans to launch a proxy battle unless he’s personally appointed to the board.
The fight will be costly and a “distraction,” executives at the Internet company said in a statement Sunday after naming as board members John D. Hayes, AmEx’s executive vice president; Peter Liguori, former chief operating officer of Discovery Communications Inc.; and Thomas J. McInerney, the outgoing chief financial officer of IAC/InterActive Corp.
The appointments, which take effect April 5, were made with a “sense of urgency” to “fuel Yahoo’s forward momentum” and “increase shareholder value,” according to Yahoo.
But Loeb, who founded and runs hedge fund Third Point and is Yahoo’s largest outside shareholder, remains unconvinced.
Yahoo said that it had considered nominees proposed by Third Point – including former executives at NBC Universal and MTV Networks -- but decided that the trio it settled on was ultimately more qualified.