Carl Icahn Exits Yahoo Board. Do You Care Anymore?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 23, 2009

Carl Icahn, the activist investor who helped goad Yahoo into finally doing a search deal with Microsoft, has left the board of the Internet portal.

Why’s he leaving? Icahn says he has other companies to worry about, and it’s not hard to take him at face value on that. And when Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz finally signed a deal for Microsoft to handle its search operations a few months ago, his reason being a Yahoo director pretty much vanished. “Carol is doing a great job and I believe the Microsoft transaction will provide great long term benefits, the potential of which many still do not understand,” Icahn wrote in his resignation letter.

But I can just see him dusting his hands off, happy to rid himself of a misadventure that by all accounts lost him a lot of money. By threatening a proxy fight, Icahn won board seats for himself and two allies last August after Yahoo repeatedly declined Microsoft’s unsolicited, $47 billion takeover bid. But once Bartz took over as CEO in January, he went quiet.

Most of all, though, it’s apparent that Bartz had little use for him and wasn’t afraid to say so. It’s now up to Bartz, not the board, to turn things around at Yahoo. With Yahoo’s upside earnings surprise on Tuesday, she clearly has gotten started by making Yahoo more profitable. What she really needs to show, however, is how Yahoo will start growing again.

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Reader Comments

mark p

October 24, 2009 02:30 AM

So there must be an open job. Maybe he was not being treated like a multi-millionare. Oh well,

theantibush

October 24, 2009 03:20 PM

Part of being a trader is knowing when to take a loss.

gil cottrell

October 24, 2009 03:25 PM

Yeah, but the stock STILL isn't $32 and I lost a LOT of money too because of Yahoo stupid board! I will NEVER again invest with Yahoo. Too many dummies running the company and not enough logic to see they kicked a gift horse in the mouth! Now we use them in the business as an example of stupid business practices! Everybody knows about the stupid deal they turned down and we remind shareholders NOT to repeat Yahoo's mistake! IDIOTS!

Jerry deGuzman

October 24, 2009 04:03 PM

Ichan is a conglomerate pirate- no sentimentality whatsoever. But when he takes over, he makes money the legal way. I would like to know what he would do to these TARP CEO's. I bet you he won't be giving them bonuses! He is like a Ross Perot but with knife to cut your throat if you mess up an up front eg no back stabbing unless you turn your back.

kuei

October 24, 2009 07:33 PM

The real reason he left? The whole MS/Yahoo deal blew up in his face and made him look like a snivelling imbecile. He needs to go crawl into a corner until people forget what he did. Yahoo was better with Jerry Yang and he knows it. Yang had the balls to stand up to MS and fight to make sure his employees were taken care of. Icahn was only after a quick buck and would have had every Yahoo employee's head on the chopping block if he thought there was an extra $1.25 in it for him. Icahn is a disgrace to the Yahoo board, and the national poster child for what is wrong with corporate america. The MS search deal is a joke. Yahoo is going downhill, and now has no hope of regaining success thanks to Icahn.
Maybe Icahn should try to get on corporate boards in foreign companies so america once again has the potential to compete in the world market.

BG

October 25, 2009 06:31 PM

Amen -- Yahoo! was a sinking ship already before Carol Bartz came along and bore some extra holes in the side through the deal with Microsoft that effectively handed the search engine over to the Redmond giant. Given the fallout, I can imagine that the most productive thing for Icahn to do would be to depart quietly by commending a CEO who by some miracle managed to be even less competent than Jerry Yang.

Canuck

October 25, 2009 10:47 PM

Wow, Kuei. Golf much with Jerry?

Raymond Cayanan

October 26, 2009 02:06 AM

I think Carl is a genius, he left because its already a done deal!(Yahoo/MS deal). And I believe he'll be back to make the final kill at Yahoo. Let's just say he is the good guy version of "Gordon Gecko".

Reality Check?

October 26, 2009 12:51 PM

"Yahoo was better with Jerry Yang and he knows it. "

What??

So the guy (Jerry) who set fire to the house, told the fire department (Microsoft) to go away, and then asked why it was getting so hot inside was doing a good job?

Ummm...

No.

Cormac

October 26, 2009 01:00 PM

Your heading says it all - "do you care anymore?". Answer is no, Yahoo is a spent force, killed by Google advantage and its awful start-up management, now mostly gone. Without the investment capital to play for much longer with the big boys, it will slowly decline, already it is an also ran. Hello Alta Vista.

Bartz knows little or nothing about Internet business, and Yahoo is neither the place, nor is this recession the time for her to learn. Having said that, I'd love to be wrong. Icann is just another greedy wall street parasite.

keith

October 26, 2009 01:24 PM

We can send ALL the bankers and traders to china. who know.. within few years, they will ruin china the same way that they ruin america.. now that will help americans a lot.

keith

October 26, 2009 01:53 PM

We can send ALL the bankers and traders to china. who know.. within few years, they will ruin china the same way that they ruin america.. now that will help americans a lot.

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