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Yahoo shareholders vote against Roy Bostock and Carol Bartz at board elections

Warwick Ashford

Nearly 20% of Yahoo's shareholders voted against re-electing to the board the company's chairman, Roy Bostock, and chief executive, Carol Bartz, at the annual investor meeting.

Only 80% were in favour of re-electing Bostock and Bartz, in contrast with 90% voting in favour of re-electing the remainder of the board.

The disparity is a sign of continuing discontent with the company's stock performance and handling of its Asian assets, according to the Financial Times.

Shareholders are unhappy Yahoo failed to keep pace with newer internet groups such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which have excelled in private and public valuations.

Shareholders are also worried that its greater than 40% investment in China's Alibaba Group was diluted after the group sold Chinese payment processor Alipay.

Roy Bostock told shareholders at the meeting that Carol Bartz was doing a good job on a long-running turnaround effort at Yahoo. Bostock told shareholders the board still backed Bartz, but said much of her work was going unrecognised.

Bostock said reduced costs, new senior managers and a focus on video and other premium display advertising was paving the way for accelerated revenue growth and value creation.

Some shareholders have called for Bartz to be replaced, but according to a company spokesman there is no search underway for a new chief executive.

Yahoo appointed former Autodesk chief Carol Bartz to succeed Jerry Yang as CEO in January 2009. It was hoped Bartz's appointment as CEO would help Yahoo recover from huge losses in value.

Jerry Yang stepped down as CEO in November 2008 in the face of shareholder criticism for rejecting a Microsoft buyout offer. Yahoo suffered a $30m loss in value after Yang rejected the offer at $33 per share, or $47.5bn total, in February 2008.


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