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Old 10-12-15, 01:32   #1
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Arrow Right Yahoo Could Soon Become Internet History

Yahoo could soon become Internet history

After a long struggle to lure people back to Yahoo Mail and its search engine, the trailblazing online service plans to spin off its core business, putting it in a position to be scooped up.

A decade and then some past its heyday as an Internet pioneer, Yahoo will spin off its core business after failing to convince people that its products are still worthwhile.

The Sunnyvale, California, company said Wednesday it will scrap its plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, worth more than $30 billion. Instead, it will reverse course and look at "alternative transaction structures" to separate the stake. That approach could make it easier to ultimately sell the spun-off core business.

"Informed by our intimate familiarity with Yahoo's unique circumstances, the Board remains committed to accomplishing the significant business purposes and shareholder benefits that can be realized by separating the Alibaba stake from the rest of Yahoo," Chairman Maynard Webb said in a statement. "To achieve this, we will now focus our efforts on the reverse spin-off plan."

Yahoo's board voted unanimously for the reverse spin-off, but it wasn't the first choice for action because it will take a year to perform and involves more outside parties, CEO Marissa Mayer said on a conference call. Yahoo needs the approval of shareholders, US regulators, Yahoo investor SoftBank and business partners of which there are "too many to name," Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman said on the call.

A spin-off of Yahoo's Web business might have more symbolic significance than anything else. The once-mighty trailblazer, founded in 1995 by Stanford University students Jerry Yang and David Filo, is one of the last independent titans of the early Internet. In June, AOL, which helped many people get onto the Internet for the first time through its early dial-up service, was bought by Verizon. Also now just memories of that earlier era are Netscape, Napster and many of the other services that taught us, while stabbing in the dark, how to surf, listen and live online. Yahoo was once the brightest star of the bunch.

The spin-off would also mean the company that Yang and Filo co-founded could be stripped down to an entity that's of more interest to investors than everyday computer users.

Of course, it could be argued that most of us largely lost interest in Yahoo a long time ago.

When Mayer, a former Google executive, was named CEO in 2012, she was tasked with turning around the already lumbering company.

To do that, she has tried to remake Yahoo for the mobile era as consumers migrated from PCs to smartphones and tablets. She has refreshed each of its mobile properties, including Yahoo Mail, Weather, Finance and Sports. She has also tried to make the company a premier media destination, hiring well-known personalities such as journalist Katie Couric and acquiring the rights to high-profile shows like the sitcom "Community."

But Mayer hasn't been able to replicate the excitement around products that many of Yahoo's fiercest rivals have been able to ignite. Once one of the most powerful brands on the Web, Yahoo has been overtaken in search and email by Google, and beaten in media by Netflix and Amazon. (Yahoo has acknowledged it never found a way to make money off "Community.") Facebook and even newer players like Snapchat have won over users that Yahoo has coveted for its messaging app.

Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, said one of Yahoo's biggest mistakes was not making bets in new and innovative areas, as Google and Amazon have.

"In the world of the Internet, which is diverse and incredibly unpredictable, you have to be adaptable and open to change," said Sappington. "Yahoo in contrast really defined their business very tightly."

Yahoo plans to reveal details of strategic changes to its core businesses during its next quarterly conference call. It wouldn't discuss options for selling those businesses.

"We have made no determination to sell the company or any part of it," Webb said. "We believe that we are tremendously undervalued, and we think the best path to unlocking that value is by separating the Alibaba assets from our operating businesses and also by turning around the performance of the operating businesses."

Possible buyers for Yahoo's main business could include private equity firms, big media companies and telecommunications companies. On Monday, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the wireless carrier would explore buying Yahoo's Internet business if it "makes sense," according to Bloomberg.

This isn't the first time Yahoo has been caught up in talk of a sale. In a saga that dragged on for months, Microsoft in 2008 bid $44.6 billion on the company, though then-CEO Yang balked.

Yahoo's planned Alibaba spinoff was designed to let Yahoo off the hook for a tax bill of billions of dollars. But in May, questions began to pop up about the spinoff, after the Internal Revenue Service proposed new rules around taxing corporate spinoffs.

Activist investor group Starboard Value, which owns less than 1 percent of Yahoo, was originally behind the spinoff but in November told Mayer to jettison Yahoo's Internet business instead.

Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and the first person named by Mayer to the Yahoo board, told the company Friday that he was resigning as a director. Yahoo said Levchin is stepping down to focus on his online lending startup, Affirm, and has dropped nearly all of his other board commitments.

Yahoo's chairman, meanwhile, went out of his way Wednesday to defend Mayer's performance.

"The board has complete confidence in the management team and the leadership of Yahoo and believes it's making important strides toward its transformation," Webb said on the conference call.

Mayer tooted her own horn, too.

"Today, I'm leading very different company from the one I started at in July of 2012 -- one with better products, improved partnerships, more focused employees, dramatically more mobile users and mobile revenue, more modern advertising tech to serve our clients' needs," she said. "We're taking further steps to tighten our focus and prioritize our investments to drive growth."

Update 7:10 a.m. PT: Remarks from the conference call were added.CNET's Rochelle Garner contributed to this report.
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Old 10-12-15, 21:17   #2
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Default re: Yahoo Could Soon Become Internet History

Thanks jenkins4. But I dont know how Mayer was part of those talks, she was in hospital giving birth.....

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Gives Birth to Identical Twin Girls -
But Will She Have a job to Go Back to After Her Two-Week Maternity Leave?

  • The 40-year-old delivered her daughters early on Thursday morning
  • She already has a son, Macallister, with husband Zack Bogue
  • Mayer plans to take two weeks maternity leave, as she did in 2012
  • It comes as questions circle around the CEO's position at the company
  • Mark Zuckerberg will take two months paternity leave for daughter Maxima
Daily Mail UK, 10 December 2015

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has given birth to identical twin girls as questions circle around her future at the company.

The 40-year-old, who is married to Silicon Valley investor Zachary Bogue, tweeted on Thursday: 'Zack and I are excited to announce that our identical twin girls were born early this morning. Our whole family is doing great!'

Within minutes, she had responses from some of the industry's highest profile figures, such as former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao and venture capitalist Chris Sacca, tweeting their congratulations.

Her labour comes just days after fellow tech heavyweight Mark Zuckerberg's wife gave birth to his first child, a girl named Maxima.

The pair have been the cornerstones of a debate about maternity and paternity leave, as Mayer plans to take just two weeks off - as she did when she joined Yahoo in 2012 - while Zuckerberg has set aside two months.

And the happy news came at a tricky time for Mayer as whispers began circulating that investors wanted her out of the company she was brought in to revitalize. The company has suffered a 30 per cent share price drop.

The 40-year-old (pictured early last month) plans to take just two weeks maternity leave after the birth

On Wednesday, the company revealed it was ditching Mayer's 10-month plan to spin off its stake in Chinese online retailer Alibaba.

'With the recent turnover in top level executives, some have questioned whether the CEO's position is stable,' SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck said

Indeed Mayer was forced to put out a statement just yesterday insisting she was 'convinced' the company was on the 'right track' despite the high-profile change of heart.

When she joined the company three years ago, Mayer took just two weeks off after delivering her son Macallister Bogue in September 2012.
She has been married to her husband Zack Bogue since 2009.

'Since this is a unique time in Yahoo's transformation, I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did with my son three years ago, taking limited time away and working throughout,' Mayer wrote in a blog post in September.

Nonetheless, the prospect of Mayer taking even a slight absence has not gone down well in the stock market.

The day she announced her maternity plans, Yahoo's shares slumped 1.99 per cent.

Yahoo's Chairman Maynard Webb said Wednesday that the board had full confidence in chief executive Marissa Meyer, despite the company still struggling to build the value of its Internet operations.
Asked on CNBC if the board retains complete confidence in Mayer after her three years at the helm, Webb replied:

'Absolutely. I've had the distinct pleasure of running (it) with her now for three years, and I've never met anybody that works harder, that's smarter, and cares more.'
'So we want to help her return this great company to an iconic place where it belongs.'

Mayer and husband Zachary Bogue pictured at the White House Correspondents' dinner in April

Mayer's decision to take just two weeks off has also been called into question.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he will take two months of paternity leave after his daughter's birth, a strong statement from one of the busiest and most powerful U.S. executives on the importance of family time.

Silicon Valley technology firms have rushed to extend parental leave allowances and other benefits in an attempt to recruit and retain talent, but many workers do not take advantage for fear of falling behind at work or missing out on promotions.

Facebook, the world's biggest online social network, allows its U.S. employees to take up to four months of paid maternity or paternity leave, which can be used all at once or throughout the first year of their child's life, a policy which is generous by U.S. standards.

Comparatively, Google gives 18 weeks' maternity leave and 12 weeks' paternity, Microsoft gives new parents 12 weeks off, and Netflix recently announced that employees can take one whole year.
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