Time Warner objects to Miller on Yahoo's board

Former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller was apparently named as one of three potential new board members at Yahoo, but his former boss has pooh-poohed the idea, according to Techcrunch.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
2 min read

Time Warner has reportedly objected to the appointment of former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller to Yahoo's board of directors, according to Techcrunch.

Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller AOL

Miller was one of three potential new board members at Yahoo as the company moves to quell shareholder angst and avoid trouble with investor Carl Icahn. After Friday's shareholder meeting, Icahn is scheduled to take one slot on Yahoo's board then help select two others by August 15. Yahoo had asked that Miller, who is a founding partner of investment firm Velocity Interactive Group, step in.

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes had initially approved the appointment, but he reportedly called off the decision last night for no specified reason, according to Techcrunch, which cited several sources. Miller would not be able to take the board seat without Time Warner's approval because of a noncompete agreement with AOL.

Requests for comment from representatives at Yahoo, AOL, and Time Warner were not immediately returned.

Yahoo planned to add three more directors to its 11-member board as part of its settlement agreement with investor activist Icahn. In recent weeks, company watchers had speculated that if Miller were appointed to the board, it would be a sign that its members were picking an eventual successor for Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang.

Clearly, corporate dealings can be fickle. Yang, who has been on the receiving end of shareholder ire over the handling of Microsoft's $33 a share buyout offer and its subsequent withdrawal, has also faced a call for his removal as CEO by Icahn.

Update 4:43 p.m. PDT: Yahoo declined to comment.

But Kara Swisher of All Things D extracted a statement from AOL, which said Miller wasn't permitted to work "for a variety of competitors, including Yahoo, until March of 2009."

Update 5:17 p.m. PDT: It turns out the LA Times actually had the story last night, though not initially with the reason behind the decision.

CNET News writer Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.

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