Disapproval eases for Yahoo board in this year's vote

Despite the hoopla around the shareholders meeting, company directors were re-elected by a higher percentage than last year, according to results released by the company.


Update at 3:08 p.m. PDT, with Carl Icahn's appointment to the board and closing stock price.

The results are in on the re-election of Yahoo's directors, and the damage is not as bad as last year. No one received more than a 22.1 percent withhold vote, compared with a substantially higher 34 percent last year, according to the company.

Shareholders withhold votes to re-elect directors as a means to send a message of investor dissatisfaction to a company and its board.

Here's how each director stacked up on their re-election:

Roy Bostock, chairman, a 20.5 percent withhold vote

Ronald Burkle, a 18.8 percent withhold vote

Eric Hippeau, a 9.3 percent withhold vote

Vyomesh Joshi, a 7.1 percent withhold vote

Arthur Kern, a 22.1 percent withhold vote

Robert Kotick, a 7.6 percent withhold vote

Mary Agnes Wilderotter, a 7.8 percent withhold vote

Gary Wilson, an 18.2 percent withhold vote

And, drumroll please...Jerry Yang, a 14.6 percent withhold vote

These less-disapproving-than-last-year's results come as two advisory services to institutional investors issued recommendations to its clients, i.e. pension funds, mutual funds, and asset managers, to withhold votes for members of Yahoo's compensation committee and also longtime director Gary Wilson. Bostock, Burkle, and Kern sit on the compensation committee.

One investor said he was a little surprised that there weren't more shares withheld.

"I thought it would it have been around 40 percent withheld. I thought it would be more than last year," said Dan Strickfaden, a Yahoo investor for more than five years. "I have no problem with Yahoo as a company. I have a problem with the board."

He added that he withheld votes for all nine Yahoo directors.

Yahoo also announced that Kotick, as called for in the proxy fight settlement with investor activist Carl Icahn, resigned his board seat immediately after the meeting. Icahn was appointed by the board to fill Kotick's seat.

Yahoo's board expects to expand by two additional seats by August 15 with appointees from a pool of candidates Icahn has selected.

In releasing the election results, Yang said in a statement:

We are at a unique point in our history, where we have the eyes of the world focused on our company and tracking our performance. We are redoubling our commitment to driving sustained, profitable growth for our stockholders. The value inherent in Yahoo's unique collection of assets is truly extraordinary, and the progress we've made on our initiatives this year signals our ability to capitalize on the underlying potential of these assets.
Yahoo closed down 0.45 percent on Friday at $19.80 a share.

Click here for full coverage of Yahoo's shareholders meeting.

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