September 14, 2011 / 3:08 PM / in 6 years

Third Point appeals to Yahoo founder Yang for change

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc shareholder Daniel Loeb appealed to the company’s co-founder Jerry Yang to fire Chairman Roy Bostock and several other directors to revive the Internet media company after years of poor performance.

The letter comes as the Yahoo board prepares to discuss a variety of options facing the troubled Internet firm during an all day meeting on Wednesday.

Loeb heads hedge fund Third Point LLC, which holds a 5 percent stake in the company.

After calling for Bostock’s resignation last week, Loeb spoke on the phone with him and Yang on Monday, urging for a “desperately needed leadership change.”

During the phone call Bostock did not “acknowledge any responsibility” for the company’s problems and said that he was “not likely” to step down from the board, Loeb said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Bostock then hung up on Loeb, according to the filing.

Loeb then fired off a letter to Yang, issued on Wednesday, expressing support and offering a list of candidates “who could help bring Yahoo back to its rightful place among the world’s top digital media and technology companies.”

“As a Founder and major shareholder of the Company, the abysmal record of the current leadership must be heart-rending to you personally, as well as damaging to your net worth. We urge you to do the right thing for all Yahoo shareholders and push for desperately-needed leadership change,” Loeb wrote to Yang.

Yahoo declined to comment on Loeb’s SEC filing.

Third Point’s call for ousting members of Yahoo’s board follows the firing of Chief Executive Carol Bartz last week.

Yahoo has gone from one of the hottest Internet companies two decades ago to one mired in challenges for the last several years as it tries to hang on to its share of online advertising revenue, which is being siphoned away by larger and more nimble rivals such as Google and Facebook.

Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL are reportedly teaming up to form an ad partnership, selling each others’ inventory in order to shore up their position against Google, according to AllThingsD.

Yahoo’s share of the U.S. online display market is expected to decline to 13.1 percent this year from 14.4 in 2010, according to research firm eMarketer. Along with Microsoft and AOL, the combined estimated share is about 22 percent.

Meanwhile, Google’s share of the online display market -- representing big splashy ads that appear on webpages -- is growing and is forecast to reach 9.3 percent this year, up from 8.6 percent in 2010.

By 2012, eMarketer estimates that Google and Yahoo will be in a “dead head” for online display ad share.

Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Derek Caney and Tim Dobbyn

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