Icahn renews pressure on Yahoo

Written by Reuters | San Francisco, June 27: | Updated: Jun 27 2008, 18:01pm hrs
Dissident shareholder Carl Icahn renewed pressure on Yahoo Inc to strike a merger deal with Microsoft Corp and replace Chief Executive Jerry Yang in his latest proxy filing on Thursday.

In papers filed with the US Securities & Exchange Commission ahead of a showdown for control of Yahoo at its Aug. 1 shareholder meeting, Icahn said his nine-member alternative slate of directors still seeks a friendly deal with Microsoft.

However, he called on Microsoft not to consider any alternative transaction short of an outright merger unless it can ensure Yahoo's stock price reaches a level of $33 a share or higher. This was the price Microsoft offered Yahoo in early May which was rebuffed by Yahoo, ending full-out merger talks.

The shareholder activist also reiterated plans to hire a "talented and experienced CEO" to replace Jerry Yang as CEO and return him to his previous role as "Chief Yahoo" -- executive without portfolio and public cheerleader for the company.

Yang, who co-founded Yahoo in 1994, was elevated a year ago this month to replace outgoing CEO Terry Semel.

Icahn says his group beneficially owns 68.8 million shares, or 4.98 per cent of Yahoo's outstanding shares.