Yahoo renamed Altaba; CEO Marissa Mayer to leave board

10 Jan, 2017

Yahoo! Inc. has said it will be renamed Altaba Inc and chief executive Marissa Mayer will step down from the board following the closing of its merger deal with Verizon Communications Inc.

"Following the closing, the company (Yahoo!) will operate as an investment. Immediately following the closing, the size of the Board will be reduced to five directors. Marissa Mayer and five others have decided to resign from the Board effective upon the closing," the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith will be left behind as directors of Altaba, with Brandt serving as chairman of the board, according to the filing.

According to the terms of the Yahoo-Verizon deal, Verizon is paying $4.8 billion for Yahoo's core internet business, leaving behind Yahoo's 15% of Chinese retail giant Alibaba and a part of Yahoo Japan, which is a joint venture with SoftBank.

Right after the deal was announced, Yahoo claimed that "state-sponsored hackers" infiltrated its system and gained access to 500 million accounts, later revealing a billion users had been affected. This led to some reports suggesting that Verizon was thinking of backing out of the deal, or at least asking Yahoo for a $1-billion discount.

Yahoo, in its SEC filing, also acknowledged that the security breaches may imperil the deal with Verizon.

"Risks that Verizon may assert, or threaten to assert, rights or claims with respect to the Stock Purchase Agreement as a result of facts relating to the security incidents disclosed on September 22, 2016 and December 14, 2016 and may seek to terminate the Stock Purchase Agreement or renegotiate the terms of the Sale Transaction on that basis," the company noted.

In 2015, the board had said that the company would be called Aabaco and would hold not only Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, but also Yahoo's small business division. Months later, that effort stalled when the company decided to do a reverse spin-off instead.