Third Point LLC, the fund headed by Dan Loeb, is stepping up efforts to oust current Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Scott Thompson. After the company broke a story last week concerning the educational qualifications of the executive officer the firm began calling for his resignation. The calls have so far been met with obstinance but Third Point, as the company’s largest shareholder, has a lot of sway and is sitting pretty with it’s own replacement CEO in the wings.
Today the company offered Yahoo an alternative to their current stance. The suggested Thompson be replaced by one of the other executive officers of the company on an interim basis as a new person, most likely Third Point’s pick, is looked for to fill the position. The two officers named in the statement are the company’s CFO Tim Morse or Media Boss Ross Levinsohn.
Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do
The debate over active versus passive management continues as trends show the ongoing shift from active into passive funds. Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more At the Morningstar Investment Conference, Michael Mauboussin of Counterpoint Global argued that the rise of index funds has made it more difficult to be an active manager. Drawing Read More
The statement was full of the same sharp wit Loeb always exudes in matters he is passionate about. The investor lambasted Yahoo for spending more time “deliberating over whether Mr. Thompson should be fired than it di properly vetting whether he should have been hired.” Loeb’s fight to change Yahoo has been a long one though he may now sense victory at his figer tips.
The underperforming company has been the subject of much criticism and not just from Loeb. The company’s patent suit against Facebook was seen as a ridiculous effort by the tech industry and the firm’s reinvigoration plan has been greeted by investors as little more than a piece of paper.
The Scott Thompson saga continues and questions over his ethics will remain until he leaves the public light. Earlier today it was reported that the officer had chatted about his degree in computer science with Moira Gunn from Tech Nation. Loeb clearly showed that it was impossible for Thompson to have gotten a degree in computer science as none was offered at his college while he attended.
Loeb’s valueyahoo.com, the repository for Third Point’s stance on the company, posted a page on corporate governance making reference to Thompson’s little white lie. The page contains quotes from corporate governance experts who clearly and unequivocally call for the CEO’s resignation.
Scott Thompson has not yet offered to resign. The board seems paralyzed in its decision. Meanwhile Loeb is working the media machine as only he can. The increasing pressure surrounding the company leaves them with little choice as to how to proceed. Loeb has won this battle it seems but the coming days will tell.