Former Viacom, Nextel CEOs Eyed for Yahoo Board

Yahoo and Carl Icahn

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) is in the process of approving the appointments of former Viacom (NYSE: VIA) CEO Frank Biondi and former Nextel Partners CEO John Chapple to its board and is expected to name the appointees by Friday, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The appointments are not yet final but likely, the source said.

Yahoo settled its proxy battle with Carl Icahn just days before its Aug. 1 shareholder meeting, at which the activist investor had originally sought to replace the entire board with his nominees and oust Chief Executive Jerry Yang.

As part of the deal, Yahoo agreed to appoint Icahn to its nine-member board and add two new directors from Icahn’s list of nominees, which included Biondi and Chapple, by mid-August.

Biondi, who runs an investment adviser firm, is the former chief executive of Universal Studios and Viacom. Chapple was the chief executive of Nextel Partners before it was bought by Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S).

Yahoo also considered Jonathan Miller, former chief executive of Time Warner’s (NYSE: TWX) AOL business, although he was not on Icahn’s list. But Time Warner stepped in earlier this month to bar Miller from joining Yahoo, saying the conglomerate would enforce a non-compete pact with him.

A Yahoo official declined to comment.

The company earlier this month held its annual shareholder meeting, during which board members faced down criticism from shareholders who, like Icahn, were angry over the fallout of Yahoo’s negotiations with Microsoft.

Additionally, Yahoo had initially believed that the vote to reelect board members during the meeting had resulted in a large signal of approval for the current set of members, including Yang.

However, revised numbers from the election revealed a large protest vote, with more than 30 percent of the votes withheld for Yang.

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