Starboard launches the nuclear option against Yahoo

Yahoo vs Starboard

Hedge fund Starboard Value is pulling out the nuclear option against Yahoo.

The company has called for the removal of Yahoo’s entire nine-member board on Thursday.

Starboard had promised to make a big move if Yahoo didn’t meet demands set by the company 18-months ago.

Starboard said it will nominate an alternate slate of directors to the board at Yahoo’s shareholder meeting set for later this spring.

“We have been extremely disappointed with Yahoo’s dismal financial performance, poor management execution, egregious compensation and hiring practices, and general lack of accountability and oversight by the board,” the hedge fund said in a letter to shareholders.

Starboard said it believes the current board “lacks the leadership, objectivity, and perspective needed to make decisions that are in the best interests of shareholders.”

Yahoo’s board sent a note saying it would respond to Starboard’s demands “in due course.”

Starboard owns nearly 2% of Yahoo for a stake worth $570 million.

Since February Yahoo has laid off 15% of its workforce, eliminated products that weren’t working, and returned focus to its core products and media brands, moves the company said would help save $400 million.

The company’s board has also promised to sell off assets to bring in an additional $1 billion.

Yahoo says it can return itself to “modest to accelerating growth” next year and in 2018.

The company is also entertaining a possible sale of its core products.

In support of her board and Yahoo in general, CEO Marissa Mayer has appeared on TV several times in the last week, defending the talent currently working at Yahoo.

Yahoo’s shares have risen 12% over the past month, though it followed the broader market’s recent surge.