×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Offers No New Information on Massive Hack as Questions Persist About Verizon Deal

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company remains “very confident” in the value of its business — even as Yahoo’s disclosure last month that info on more than 500 million email accounts was stolen by hackers in 2014 could lead Verizon Communications to renegotiate or abandon its proposed $4.8 billion deal.

Mayer, in prepared remarks announcing Yahoo’s third-quarter 2016 results, shed no new light on the security breach. “We take deep responsibility in protecting our users and the security of their information,” the exec said. “We’re working hard to retain their trust and are heartened by their continued loyalty as seen in our user engagement trends.”

Overall, Yahoo posted revenue of $1.31 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations. It reported adjusted earnings per share of 20 cents, beating analyst forecasts of EPS of 14 cents. But revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs — money it pays to search partners including Google and Microsoft — fell 14% year over year, to $858 million and adjusted earnings excluding TAC dropped 6%, to $229 million.

Layoffs helped Yahoo cut its operating loss in Q3 to $52 million, compared with $86 million in the year-ago period. As of the end of September, the company’s headcount was 8,500, down 21% approximately 2,200 year over year.

Yahoo isn’t holding an earnings call or webcast for its Q3 earnings, citing the “pending transaction with Verizon.”

“In addition to our continued efforts to strengthen our business, we are busy preparing for integration with Verizon,” Mayer said in a statement. “We remain very confident, not only in the value of our business, but also in the value Yahoo products bring to our users’ lives.”

Verizon — along with millions of Yahoo users — was caught unawares by the massive security breach. When Yahoo announced the user-info breach on Sept. 22, Verizon said that it had only been informed of the scope of the breach two days prior.

Last week, Verizon’s top lawyer said the Yahoo breach represented a “material” event that could open to door to the telco renegotiating the terms of the deal. “I think we have a reasonable basis to believe right now that the impact is material and we’re looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact,” Verizon general counsel and executive VP of public policy Craig Silliman said at a reporters’ roundtable in Washington, D.C. “If they believe that it’s not, then they’ll need to show us that.”

In response, a Yahoo rep said, “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”

Yahoo said the 2014 security breach was the work of a “state-sponsored actor,” but it hasn’t identified which country was behind the hack. Nor has the company provided an explanation for why it took two years to disclose the incident. Six U.S. senators have asked Mayer to provide more details on its handling of the breach; Yahoo said it will respond to the inquiry “in a timely and appropriate manner.”

Yahoo reached the deal with Verizon in July to sell its declining web businesses for $4.8 billion, plus an estimated $1.1 billion in payments for restricted stock at closing. The telco sees synergies in combining Yahoo with AOL, which it bought for $4.4 billion last year, to achieve greater audience and advertising scale. Previously, the companies had said they expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2017.

The disclosure of the two-year-old security breach — the largest single theft of user data to date — has raised questions about when Yahoo knew about the hack and the nature of its severity. In a Sept. 9 proxy statement, Yahoo said it was not aware of any security breaches. That was after Yahoo had acknowledged in early August that it was investigating a report that a Russian cybercriminal was advertising the sale of 200 million Yahoo user accounts in a black-market online forum, as first reported by Vice’s Motherboard.

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content