Yahoo nets PayPal co-founder in boardroom shake-up

Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:16pm EST
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By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc said on Thursday that two of its directors have resigned and that PayPal co-founder Max Levchin has been appointed to its board of directors, the latest change to the struggling Internet company under its new chief executive.

The changes come five months after Marissa Mayer, a former Google Inc executive, took the top job, and they complete a boardroom transformation that began in May when activist investor Dan Loeb settled a bitter proxy fight with Yahoo.

With Levchin, Yahoo gets a board member whose Internet industry bona-fides could help the company improve its image in Silicon Valley, where competition for technology engineers is intense.

He represents the fourth Yahoo director who Loeb, the head of hedge fund ThirdPoint LLC, won the right to appoint when he settled his proxy fight with Yahoo.

Levchin, who was also the first investor of online reviews site Yelp Inc, where he serves as chairman of the board, wrote on his personal blog that "a stronger, fast-growing Yahoo, with its tremendous resources is a massive net-positive for the Silicon Valley ecosystem, the market in general and the U.S. economy."

He also cited sentimental attachment to Yahoo, one of the first Web companies, and respect for Mayer's "ballsy" decision to try to revitalize the company as factoring in to his decision to join the board.

"Max is someone I've admired throughout my career for his phenomenal sense for great products and keen focus on user experiences," Mayer said in a statement.

Yahoo said its board now has 11 directors, down from 12. The changes to the board were effective on Tuesday, a Yahoo spokeswoman told Reuters.   Continued...