Tuesday last week, Carol Bartz being ousted as Yahoo!’s CEO made news when AllThingsD published Bartz’s letter. What caught everyone’s attention, aside from people being relieved that she’s no longer CEO, is her emphasis on the fact that she was fired by Roy Bostock over the phone.
Last Friday, Bartz resigned as member of Yahoo!’s board and called her former colleagues as “a bunch of doofuses” and added “They f****d me over,” in an interview with Fortune.
If Yahoo thought that investors would be comforted by these words, they were wrong. Daniel Loeb, Third Point CEO and activist investor, wrote a demand letter to the board of Yahoo demanding the resignation of Bostock and fellow Directors Arthur Kern and Vyomesh Joshi as Bostock was the one responsible for Bartz hiring and turning down the 2008 Microsoft deal which was valued at $45 billion.
“It is time that certain members of this Board were held accountable for its past failures and their individual roles. Accordingly, we insist that Mr. Bostock, who championed Ms. Bartz’s hiring and led the charge against the Microsoft deal, promptly resign from the Board. We also demand that fellow Directors Arthur Kern and Vyomesh Joshi, who have stood by silently during these last five years of woeful performance, join Mr. Bostock in resignation.”
Loeb goes on stating the importance of Asian partners such as Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, regarding “tax efficient outcomes for its Asian assets.” For Loeb, Yahoo board members did not pay attention to the important role of these Asian assets to the company. Loeb estimates the two assets to be worth $3.10 and $5.24 per share, respectively. With $2.49 per share in cash, he values core Yahoo at $2.78 per share. He sees shares worth in the neighborhood of $27-$28 per share by 2012 EBITDA.
As for Yahoo, David Kenny was appointed to lead the search for the next CEO, and some are thinking that Kenny should pick himself, as he knows the industry very well. While Blake Irving is part of the interim leadership council to help Tim Morse perform his duties as interim CEO.