Yahoo Fills Out Board of Directors
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Another chapter in a tumultuous year for Yahoo has come to an end, as the portal giant solidified its board of directors with the appointment of two members from activist investor Carl Icahn's hand-picked list.
Yahoo today named Frank Biondi and John Chapple to its board, filling out a roster of 11 directors. The expansion was the product of a compromise with Icahn, who had been agitating to oust the entire board.
Under that agreement, Icahn took a spot for himself, and Yahoo agreed to give two seats to members of his choosing, giving the activist investor a fair-sized foothold into the company's decision-making process.
Biondi is the former head of Universal Studios and Viacom. Chapple served as chairman and CEO of Nextel Partners until its acquisition by Sprint Communications.
"Frank's extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, combined with John's deep management experience in telecommunications, will provide valuable perspectives to our already diverse board," Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in a statement. "We look forward to working with them as our board continues its ongoing efforts to enhance stockholder value."
Yahoo held its annual shareholders' meeting Aug. 1. All of the incumbents secured reelection, but a tabulation error revealed that support for Yang and Bostock was far more tenuous than initially thought.
Yang and Bostock have repeatedly said in public remarks that Yahoo is focused on its turnaround strategy, which includes a major advertising deal signed with rival Google. Under the agreement, which is currently being reviewed by state and federal regulators, Yahoo would import a certain amount of ads from Google to place next to its search results.
Under the compromise agreement, Icahn had secured former AOL head Jonathan Miller as a potential candidate. Many analysts and pundits saw Miller as a potential successor to Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, but Time Warner recently invoked a non-compete clause in Miller's contract, nullifying his eligibility to serve on the board.