Tuesday 24 October 2017

Yahoo to change name and slash board if Verizon deal agreed

Yahoo will change its name to Altaba if the Verizon deal goes ahead
Yahoo will change its name to Altaba if the Verizon deal goes ahead

Tech giant Yahoo is to adopt a new corporate identity and slash the size of its board if the proposed 4.8 billion-dollar (£3.9bn) sale of its digital services to Verizon Communications goes ahead.

The company plans to change its name to Altaba after it turns over its email, websites, mobile apps and advertising tools to Verizon.

The new name is meant to reflect Yahoo's transformation into a holding company for investments in China's e-commerce leader Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan that are worth about more than 40 billion dollars (£33bn) in total.

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and four other directors currently on the company's 11-member board will resign after the planned sale to Verizon closes.

But the Verizon deal has been jeopardised by Yahoo's recent discovery of two separate hacking attacks that stole personal information from more than one billion user accounts during two different intrusions that occurred in 2013 and 2014.

Yahoo is fighting to keep the deal intact but Verizon is reassessing whether it should renegotiate the sales price or perhaps cancel the sale, following the hacking revelations that could trigger a backlash among Yahoo users upset about sensitive personal details being stolen.

In the only change that took effect on Monday, Yahoo director Eric Brandt became the company's chairman, replacing Maynard Webb, who becomes chairman emeritus until the Verizon deal closes.

Mr Brandt, former chief financial officer of chipmaker Broadcom, joined Yahoo's board 10 months ago and Mr Webb had been Yahoo's chairman for nearly four years.

If the Verizon deal closes, Mr Webb will leave the board along with Ms Mayer, Mr Filo and Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill and Jane Shaw.

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