January 9, 2017
Yahoo turned another page in its ongoing story today, announcing via an 8-K filed with the SEC that the company would reduce its board size to just five members once the Verizon acquisition is completed. In addition, the company will forego its iconic name, opting for the name “Altaba,” which, according to the Washington Post is a combination of “alternative” and “Alibaba,” a nod to the fact that most of what will remain of Yahoo will be its ownership in the Chinese internet company.
As the SEC filing explains, Yahoo will operate as an investment company, and therefore will function with the much smaller board. However, it will be relinquishing an experienced set of directors.
According to Equilar BoardEdge data, the 11 Yahoo directors currently serve on 23 other public boards, an average of more than two per director. As a point of comparison, other well-known boards that these directors serve such as Walmart (on whose board Mayer sits) and Visa (where Maynard Webb serves as a director), have far fewer connections. For example, Walmart’s directors currently sit in 10 additional board seats, while Visa’s directors serve a total of 13 other public company board seats. One could consider Yahoo’s board either extensively experienced, or potentially overcommitted, and an argument could be made either way (though only one director, Richard Hill, is on four other boards, reaching the limit of five suggested by proxy advisory firms).
The Equilar connections map below provides a quick snapshot of Yahoo’s corporate ties. Once the transition is complete, the new board will still have 12 connections among its five remaining members.
For more information on how the connections map works within Equilar BoardEdge, please see our sample infographic on the public company board connections among President-Elect Trump’s cabinet nominees..
According to the filing, Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith will remain on the board, with Brandt serving as Chairman. Notably, McInerney was the only director who did not join in 2016, having been on the Yahoo board for nearly five years, according to Equilar BoardEdge data.
Along with Mayer, Yahoo co-founder David Filo, Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill, Jane Shaw and Maynard Webb will step down from the board. Webb will retain the title Chairman Emeritus, per the filing.
What still isn’t clear from Yahoo’s statement is Mayer’s future as CEO of the company after the acquisition. In July 2016 when the deal was announced, she had a potential severance package worth nearly $57 million, not to mention the $114 million she has taken home in her four-plus years as chief executive.
The data in the graphic is powered by BoardEdge, which includes information on 150,000 directors and executives from public companies. The database includes more than a dozen categories about each board member’s background and leadership experience. The platform’s defining feature is a networking tool that clearly displays how board members are connected to each other, as well as the Equilar Diversity Network.
For more information on Equilar’s research and data analysis, please contact Dan Marcec, Director of Content & Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.