Icahn gripes about Yahoo board place

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The day before Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting, activist shareholder Carl Icahn announced in his blog he would not be attending and described his new appointment on the Yahoo board as an unhappy compromise.

Icahn agreed to join Yahoo's board 10 days ago, having previously attempted to replace it altogether with a team more compliant to a Microsoft acquisition.

If Icahn’s proxy fight had been successful, the annual meeting would have seen Icahn’s nominated board candidates stand in an election, a negotiation with Microsoft on the cards and the likely dismissal of Yahoo’s chief executive, Jerry Yang.

But Icahn blamed “today’s corporate governance system” for his failure to overthrow the board.

“Where large mutual funds control so much of the stock, it is extremely difficult to oust an entire board, no matter how strongly a large number of shareholders feel about the board’s previous actions,” he said.

Icahn said he had joined the board as a last resort.

“Realising I could not gain control, I saw no point in spending the final two weeks in a debilitating fight, where little would be accomplished except to build animosity between both caps”.

Icahn will now miss any disappointment aired by Yahoo shareholders on how the board handled the Microsoft purchase offer. His argument for not attending the meeting was because it would turn it into “a media event for no purpose”.
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