Yahoo’s Fred Amoroso Resigns as Chairman, Plans to Leave Board

Yahoo! Inc., the largest U.S. Web portal, said Fred Amoroso resigned as chairman and won’t seek re-election as a director while the company undergoes a fresh turnaround effort by Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer.

Maynard Webb, who joined the board in February 2012, will serve as interim chairman, Yahoo said in a statement. Amoroso, who became a director at the same time as Webb, told the board when he became chairman in May that he planned to serve in that role for a year, according to yesterday’s statement.

Yahoo, which has weathered a series of management and board changes in the past two years, is adding tools and services to help woo users and advertising dollars under Mayer, who joined the Sunnyvale, California-based company in July. With Mayer at the helm, Yahoo isn’t likely to be hurt by the shift in board leadership, said Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley & Co.

“It should be fine for Yahoo -- Marissa is at the driver’s seat at this point,” Sinha said. “She has significant influence.”

In the statement, Amoroso said the company has made strides since he became chairman. Amoroso is a former International Business Machines Corp. executive who ran Rovi Corp. until 2011.

“I’m very grateful and proud of the progress Yahoo has made,” Amoroso said in the statement. “Yahoo hired a great new CEO, brought on a fantastic management team, revitalized the employee base, and has begun to release top-notch new products.”

Yahoo shares were little changed in extended trading after the announcement. The stock had gained 1.8 percent to $25.20 at yesterday’s close in New York, and has increased 27 percent so far this year.

Amoroso had given early support to former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn two months before Mayer left Google Inc. to take the permanent CEO position in July. Amoroso had said in a meeting May 2012 with employees that he would like to see Levinsohn appointed permanently, according to a person who was briefed on the matter at the time.

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