We’ve been waiting years for Yahoo to turn things around, and many people have given up hope of it ever happening. Not only has CEO Marissa Mayer failed to turn the company around as promised, the board of directors has decided to cancel its plan to spin-off its stake in Alibaba in favor of a reverse spin-off of its core business and its stake in Yahoo Japan. That may not be necessary, however, as Yahoo shareholder Eric Jackson claims the company can turn things around by firing Mayer and 75% of its employees, put an end to the company’s love of lavish parties, and reduce expensive employee perks like free food and iPhones.
Yahoo’s long-awaited turnaround could be taking another turn. The company’s board decided last week to nix the spinoff of its stake in Alibaba and instead attempt a complicated “reverse” spinoff of its core business and its stake in Yahoo Japan. Now, Eric Jackson, managing director of SpringOwl Asset Management, is offering an alternate plan, calling for a new CEO, massive layoffs, no more lavish parties, and getting rid of perks like free food and iPhones for employees. In January, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer originally proposed an elaborate restructuring of the company to spin off its 384 million shares of Alibaba, a move that theoretically would avoid incurring any taxes. But the plan was ultimately scrapped Dec. 9, after it became unclear if the deal would go through tax-free. In a 99-slide presentation, Jackson laid out a detailed plan to turn around Yahoo’s core business. He argued that Starboard’s proposal to sell the core business would not benefit shareholders, given the low price of Yahoo’s stock, which is down about 30% since the beginning of the year. He also noted that Starboard has incentive to see a quick sale since it acquired half its $200 million stake in Yahoo during the third quarter, “likely when the stock crashed below $28/share.”