Yahoo’s Mayer hopes to stay

IOL pic sept1 yahoo ceo mayer REUTERS Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. File picture: Reuters

San Francisco - Marissa Mayer is hopeful of keeping her job leading Yahoo even if the struggling Web pioneer changes hands.

Under pressure from investors and facing a potential proxy fight, the chief executive officer has pledged to do what’s best for shareholders as Yahoo reviews alternatives for separating its core Internet business from a stake in Alibaba Group. There are many viable options for splitting the company, Mayer said during an interview on the Charlie Rose Show.

Those included being acquired by a strategic buyer or private equity, along with a so-called reverse-spin to extricate the core Web operations from its Chinese holdings.

“I certainly hope the strategic alternative has a place for me,” she said. “But that said, we’ll obviously honour our commitments to our shareholders.”

Mayer is considering strategic options for the company even as she tries to drive a turnaround with a new plan for sparking growth. Activist investor Starboard Value LP, which has been critical of her efforts to restore growth and boost shareholder returns, has taken initial steps for a potential proxy fight that could recast the board with new directors, people familiar with the matter said last month.

“The primary issue is Yahoo, our technology, the employees, the services, the end-users - how do we get that to the best possible place for Yahoo and find it the best possible future,” she said. “I’m secondary to that.”

Mayer expressed confidence in the turnaround plan, saying she can see success coming closer though most turnarounds can take five to seven years. Mayer said that, among other options, Yahoo going private may give her the opportunity to drive new recovery plans away from public scrutiny.

BLOOMBERG

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