WSJ is reporting that Investor Carl Icahn, who recently filed a proxy slate to replace Yahoo’s board, on the ongoing Microsoft (MSFT) versus Yahoo (YHOO) saga, said in an interview that he will seek to remove Yahoo’s chief executive officer, Jerry Yang.
Mr. Icahn said, he plans to make a public statement highlighting his concerns about the actions of Mr. Yang and the board.
The news comes a day after a shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo was unsealed, shedding new details on the negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft that resulted in Microsoft’s formally withdrawing its offer on May 3.
Based on documents unsealed Monday as part of a shareholder complaint against Yahoo, Microsoft offered $40 share for Yahoo in January 2007. Yahoo refused it, just as it would later refuse the $33-per-share bid that followed a year later. The company’s leadership felt an outsourcing deal with Google (GOOG) would be detrimental to Yahoo’s long-term push to become a “must buy” for advertisers.
But the larger issues in the suit, charges Yahoo’s directors with breach of fiduciary duty for not just rejecting Microsoft’s proposed deal, but also for going to great lengths to make it an unappealing acquisition target.
Yahoo’s Brad Williams expressed doubts on some of the details in the lawsuit, saying that Yahoo was “not aware” of a previous $40-a-share offer from Microsoft as referred by the court papers.
Williams declined to comment on Mr. Icahn’s moves.