Yahoo to Change Name After Sale, CEO to Step Down

Yahoo Inc. announced Monday it will shakeup its board after completing its $4.8 billion deal with Verizon Communications Inc., and several longtime directors, including CEO Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo, will step down as directors. After the sale of its core internet business, the company will also change its name to Altaba Inc., according to a regulatory filing by Yahoo.

All those changes depend on whether Yahoo can actually close the sale: The Verizon-Yahoo deal has become less certain after a second breach of one billion accounts was disclosed last month. The highly publicized breaches have caused Verizon to weigh their options, including potentially paying less than the agreed-upon $4.8 billion.

The pending deal marks a dramatic fall for Yahoo, one of the best known names of the internet boom in the late ‘90s. Prior to the dot-com collapse in 2000, Yahoo, then valued at over $100 billion, was in a position to buy a fledgling Google for $1 million but passed on the opportunity. After declining over the next decade, Yahoo famously turned down a buyout offer from Microsoft for an attractive $45 billion in 2008. Yahoo’s market value is currently close to $40 billion, with a large portion of that value propped up  byits 15% stake in Chinese company Alibaba, a company worth close to $241 billion.

Yahoo remains a major force online, but has struggled with an identity crisis and has fell behind rivals in its ability to ‘monetize’ its audience through advertising that is linked to customers’ browsing and other online activities. 

The Verizon deal is the first major step toward unwinding Yahoo. Next up is a trove of about 3,000 non-core patents, which Yahoo is selling in a separate auction that is expected to fetch upwards of $1 billion. 

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