Yahoo Board Weighs Potential Sale (Report)

Directors will decide whether to seek buyer for core business in series of board meetings, according to the Wall Street Journal


Yahoo’s board of directors will consider a plan to sell off the company’s core business assets during a series of board meetings this week, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported that Yahoo directors will weigh whether to seek a buyer for the company’s Web assets, spin off shares in Alibaba Holding Group Ltd. worth more than $30 billion or do both.

Yahoo’s future has been the subject of persistent speculation, much of it focused on embattled CEO Marissa Mayer. The website Recode reported last month on a bizarre morale-boosting effort spearheaded by Mayer that saw the company’s top executive participate in a “Wizard of Oz”-themed photo shoot.

That story followed a disappointing third-quarter earnings report in October and subsequent $42 million write down — for which the company’s CFO Ken Goldman blamed Yahoo’s investment in original series programming such as “Community.”

Yahoo investors such as Ader Investment Management’s Eric Jackson had by October started publicly calling for Mayer’s ouster.

In its third-quarter report, Yahoo saw a revenue drop of 8 percent compared to a year ago, earning $1 billion compared to $1.09 billion. Yahoo also reported a loss from operations totaling $86 million compared to $42 million. Yahoo also reported a spike of 312% in traffic acquisition costs, to $223 million in the third quarter.

Yahoo drew 209,770,000 million unique visitors in September across its sites, which was down 4 percent year-over-year, according to comScore.

“I don’t think Marissa was equipped to be in the advertising business and to serve Madison Avenue in the way they need to be served,” media and entertainment adviser Andy Marks told TheWrap last month.