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Yahoo Chairman Bostock Steps Down Amid Board Shakeup

Roy Bostock and three other board member announce their departure as part of an unheaval intended to restore shareholders’ faith

Roy Bostock, who became chairman of Yahoo four years ago, and three other long-serving board members have announced that they will step down.

The decision is seen as an attempt to appease disillusioned shareholders who feel let down by the company’s poor leadership and inability to keep up with rivals like Facebook and Google.

Yahoo in transition

“The board has concluded that in order to accelerate the Company’s transformation, the combination of a new Chief Executive Officer with an enhanced team of independent directors would provide Yahoo with the expertise and perspectives necessary to drive innovation and growth going forward,” said Bostock in a letter addressed to Yahoo’s shareholders. “Therefore, Mr Joshi, Mr Kern, Mr Wilson and I have volunteered not to stand for re-election at the next shareholders’ meeting.”

Last month, Yahoo hired former PayPal president Scott Thompson (pictured) as chief executive officer to replace Carol Bartz, who was fired last year. Shortly after his introduction, Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Yang resigned, beginning a minor exodus of senior board members.

Yang and Bostock are often blamed for the failed Microsoft deal of 2008 in which Yahoo would have been sold for $47.5 million (£30m) or $33 per share. Since then the company has not been valued at more than $20 a share.

Shareholders, therefore, should be pleased about the departure of Gary Wilson, Arthur Kern, Vyomesh Joshi and Roy Bostock and the resignation of the final remnants of the old Yahoo regime. Replacing them will be Alfred Amoroso, a former executive at Rovi Corp, and Maynard Webb, eBay’s ex-COO, bringing the total number of board members up to seven.

For now their main focus will likely be to shed investments in Asia, starting with the Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. However definite or immediate news about any transactions should not be expected.

“The complexity and unique nature of these transactions is significant,” writes Bostock. “While we continue to devote significant resources to these discussions, we are not in a position at this time to provide further detail or to provide assurance that any transaction will be achieved.”