Hedge fund Third Point files Yahoo board challenge

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:01am EDT

The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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(Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Third Point on Wednesday filed a proxy statement with regulators seeking to install its own slate of directors on Yahoo Inc's board after criticizing the Internet company's recent appointees to the board.

Third Point has a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, ranking it among the company's largest institutional shareholders. It has sharply panned Yahoo's performance and strategy in recent months and previously stated its intention to nominate new board members.

A Web pioneer, Yahoo has seen revenue growth stall in recent years as rivals Facebook and Google Inc have increased their share of online advertising spending.

Last month, Yahoo's board appointed Alfred Amoroso, former CEO of Rovi Corp, a digital entertainment company; and Maynard Webb, chairman of LiveOps, a customer call center company, after Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and three other directors announced they were stepping down.

Third Point said in the filing that Yahoo's recently named board members are not in the best interest of the company or shareholders. "Installing the hand-picked choices of the current board does nothing to allay concerns that the Company is poised to repeat the errors of its past," the hedge fund wrote in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The hedge fund, led by Dan Loeb, 50, is nominating four directors to Yahoo's board, including Loeb and former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. The deadline for outside shareholders to nominate a rival slate of directors to Yahoo's board is March 25.

(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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