Starboard Value’s Jeffrey Smith really does appreciate the “constructive and on-going dialogue” its had with the Yahoo! CEO, one which presumably did not include and awkward and inscrutable recitation of a children’s book. Indeed, he thought that he and Marissa were on the same page, re: selling a bunch of stuff and giving the proceeds back to shareholders rather than buying garbage no one wants with it, like CNN.
It’s just that he’s hearing things that worry him a little. And Jeffrey Smith can get a little defensive when he’s worried. So, he’d like to say in the nicest possible way: Don’t do anything stupid like making a big, headline-grabbing deal, unless it’s the one and only one we’ve given you permission for, or else. Thanks. Give Clarence Otis and the former directors of Darden Restaurants a call if you need it spelled out any further.
We expect that you and the Board will heed the advice of shareholders by expeditiously announcing your intentions regarding both of Yahoo’s non-core minority equity investments and other actions to enhance shareholder value.
Should you instead choose to proceed down a different path by pursuing large acquisitions and/or a cash-rich split, both of which have been speculated, such actions would be a clear indication to us that significant leadership change is required at Yahoo.