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Yahoo Investor Third Point Starts Website for Change

Graffiti art of Yahoo! Inc. applications in Sunnyvale, California. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg
Graffiti art of Yahoo! Inc. applications in Sunnyvale, California. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. shareholder Third Point LLC, preparing for a proxy fight, unveiled a website that calls for changes at the Internet company and touts a proposed slate of board candidates.

The site, which borrows Yahoo’s purple color scheme, includes a blog, biographies of the director nominees and a critique of the company’s past mistakes. Third Point also started a Facebook Inc. page that links to the site, valueyahoo.com.

“We created ValueYahoo as a guide for our fellow Yahoo shareholders who want change at one of technology’s most valuable -- and sadly, we believe, most mismanaged -- companies,” the site said. “We share your desire for a new path forward, and here you will find our case for change, along with ways to join our campaign.”

Third Point, the owner of about 5.8 percent of Yahoo, announced plans last month to seek shareholder votes on its slate of four directors. Yahoo has been struggling to keep pace with rivals Google Inc. and Facebook, which have lured away users and ad dollars. Last year, Facebook passed Yahoo to become the largest U.S. seller of display advertising, according to EMarketer Inc.

Reshuffling Board

Yahoo, under the leadership of new Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson, named three new independent directors last month, part of its own effort to shake up the board and appease investors. The company had negotiated with Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb about adding one of his nominees and another that both sides could agree on. The discussions broke down when Loeb insisted that he himself be added, Yahoo said at the time.

“Yahoo’s new leadership team and its employees are working hard to restore the company’s growth and innovation and refocus its resources on key parts of the business that offer the greatest potential for growth,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “It is important to note that Yahoo has been actively and openly soliciting constructive input from its major shareholders, including Third Point, regarding both the composition of its board and the company’s ongoing evolution.”

Yahoo rose 1.5 percent to $15.46 at the close in New York. Shares of the Sunnyvale, California-based company have fallen 4.2 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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