…As Yahoo Gets New Owners
Marissa Mayer to step down; Altaba retains Asian investments, some patents.
Yahoo, one of the Internet's most venerable companies, won't exist for much longer. Verizon confirmed plans to acquire Yahoo for $4.8 billion in July, and a new financial filing from Yahoo includes details of what's going to happen next.
However, Verizon has promised that—if the increasingly bumpy buyout completes—the Yahoo brand will live on. July's proposed sale included the firm's operating business, but it didn't include the big chunk of Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba owned by Yahoo, and it didn't include certain other assets, mostly shares of Asia-based companies and non-core patents. What remains, according to SEC paperwork filed on Monday, will be rolled into a publicly-traded investment company called Altaba.
The size of the board will be reduced to five directors, and many key executives will leave, including—as expected—Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo co-founder David Filo. Also out are Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill, Jane Shaw, and Maynard Webb. The departures are not "due to any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company's operations, policies, or practices," Yahoo's filing said.
Yahoo is the second early Web giant that Verizon has sought to buy. In 2015, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL.
The planned Yahoo takeover isn't going smoothly, however. At one point, shortly after what looked like a major state-sponsored hacking attack on Yahoo, Verizon was reportedly getting cold feetabout its proposed purchase.
While Mayer won't be on the team overseeing the Altaba investments, it isn't clear if she'll have a future inside the Verizon behemoth. Previous agreements call for Mayer to get $55 million if she's ousted.
This story was updated to clarify Verizon's plans for the Yahoo brand now that the firm's remaining assets will be held by Altaba.
How Yahoo came up with its new name: Altaba
The new name is meant to be a combination of the words “alternative and Alibaba,” according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak on the record about the name change.
Today Yahoo owns roughly 15 percent of Alibaba, holdings that are worth about $35 billion. The idea behind the name is that Altaba’s stock can now be tracked as an alternative to Alibaba because Yahoo owns a sizable chunk of the Chinese company.