All Change at Yahoo as Verizon Deal Nears

yahoo marissa mayer
Yahoo is undergoing a number of dramatic changes that will see the company radically reshaped following its merger with Verizon. Marissa Mayer, CEO of the firm, looks set to resign from the board of directors following the merger, and the remains of Yahoo will reportedly be renamed Altaba.

Both details emerged from an SEC filing that was made as part of Yahoo’s sale of its core internet business to US mobile operator Verizon, which is paying $4.8bn (£3.9bn) for Yahoo’s assets and data.

Following the merger, Yahoo’s 15 per cent stake in Chinese retail giant Alibaba will remain as a separate company, as will sections of Yahoo Japan which operate as a joint venture with Softbank. Those assets will operate under the name Altaba, potentially ending an internet brand that has operated for over 20 years.

Mayer’s resignation from the board is not isolated. Five other members will be stepping down, including Yahoo co-founder David Filo, with Altaba’s new board consisting of five members, including activist hedge fund manager Jeff Smith and Eric Brandt, who will serve as chairman.

The board changes are “not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” according to the filing, although exactly what Mayer’s role will be in either Verizon, Altaba, or elsewhere remains to be seen.

There were rumours that Verizon was reconsidering the merger after it emerged that over 1bn Yahoo accounts had been compromised in a massive hack and data breach, but according to Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer at Yahoo, marketers were not particularly concerned with the hack and revenues were still strong.

In an interview with The Drum, Utzschneider said that “marketers are so excited about the prospect of the combined entity. They just want to make sure it is on track to close, and they also just want to make sure that Yahoo continues to drive its business during this process.”

Speaking on the progress of the merger, she said “we’re still in the integration phase, and I can’t speak to a post-close world, but we’re planning right now, and when we’re ready with our go-to-market strategy, we’ll be happy to talk about it.”

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