Yahoo Inc., which made the disclosure Monday in an SEC filing, will become primarily an investment holding company if and when the Verizon sale is completed. At that point the company, whose major asset will be shares of China’s Alibaba Group, will rename itself “Altaba Inc.” With the planned change, Yahoo Inc. appointed Eric Brandt chairman effective Jan. 9, with previous chairman Maynard Webb becoming chairman emeritus; Webb also plans to resign after the closure of the Verizon deal.
What Mayer does next remains in question. For now, she remains CEO of Yahoo Inc. Last July, she said in a memo to Yahoo employees that she expects to remain with the company after the Verizon transaction: “I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.” But it’s not clear what role she would have under Verizon’s ownership, as AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is set to manage the combined AOL-Yahoo organization if the deal becomes official.
Mayer, a former top Google exec, was recruited in 2012 to turn around Yahoo but the company’s finances have continued to deteriorate under her tenure. Per the terms of her Yahoo contract, Mayer would receive a severance package worth about $55 million if she’s terminated within a year of the company being sold.
Meanwhile, there’s still uncertainty about how or even whether Verizon will proceed with its planned $4.8 billion takeover of the flagging internet businesses after Yahoo disclosed two massive breaches of user data. Verizon may decide to terminate the agreement or seek a reduction in the price tag, pending its review of the hacks in which info on more than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts was stolen more than two years ago.
In its filing Monday, Yahoo said it will reduce the size of the board to five directors following the closure of the Verizon deal. Brandt, along with Tor Braham, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith, will continue on the board of Altaba Inc. The following current board members intend to resign, in addition to Mayer and Webb: David Filo, Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill and Jane Shaw.