Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, who has overseen an almost 150 percent stock rally fueled by her company’s stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is poised to pare that ownership -- a move that threatens to diminish the U.S. Web portal’s investor appeal.
Yahoo! Inc. surged after firing Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz, whose reign was marked by falling sales, lost share to rivals and a dispute with Asian partners that stunted growth in the world’s largest Web market.
Carol Bartz arrived at Yahoo! Inc. in January 2009 with a reputation for tough talk and turnarounds, having revived design software maker Autodesk Inc. The two California companies are 65 miles apart and worlds apart culturally -- a gap she has been unable to bridge.
Dan Loeb, the billionaire founder and principal owner of Third Point LLC, the $14 billion activist hedge fund, has made about $1 billion for himself and his investors from a two-year crusade to increase Yahoo! Inc.’s stock price. He’s been extraordinarily successful; the shares trade for about $33 these days, up from about $13.50 when Loeb started buying them in September 2011.
Yahoo! Inc. hired Scott Thompson as chief executive officer, asking the former president of EBay Inc.’s PayPal unit to complete a strategic review and reverse a growth slump that led to the September ouster of Carol Bartz.