HR & Management

Yahoo! investor tells firm in 99-page slide to sack 9,000 staff, remove perks and get new CEO

2 min read

15 December 2015

Not pleased with Yahoo! regarding its current lack of strategy, Eric Jackson, MD of SpringOwl Asset Management, is offering an alternate plan – or may just be having a good old rant.

Despite five CEOs over ten years having tried and failed to turn the online giant around, Jackson reckons he has the answer.

In a 99-slide presentation, Jackson argues that there remains significant value within Yahoo! and that selling the core business would not benefit shareholders

But ultimately, it seems to have been crafted with the sole purpose of throwing CEO Marissa Mayer under the bus by picking apart and questioning her leadership. Indeed, he was calling for Mayer to be given the door, claiming that an operations-focused CEO would be better suited. 

It wasn’t the only thing that Jackson suggested needed to be scrapped. SpringOwl noted that all of Yahoo’s spending has cost the company around $450m in the past four years.

He said: “Yahoo! is like a startup and startups can’t afford luxurious caterers like Bon Appetit. The company should have no more lavish parties for employees like the Great Gatsby themed one in December 2015 costing $7m. That’s half an Instagram right there.”

It pointed accusingly at a Yahoo! Christmas party that cost $7m, and a Wizard of Oz photoshoot that costs $70,000.

A reduction in workforce, however, would enable the company to cut $2bn, according to Jackson. By his estimates, Yahoo! needs to slash its workforce by 75 per cent. He also proposed the sale of its iconic Sunnyvale campus so that it could lease the space required for a smaller workforce.

He added: “Yahoo! needs to go back to the old logo and raise the old Yahoo! billboard on the 101 into San Francisco to send a message that the era of Marissa Mayer is now over.”

Jackson also said: “No more wealth transfers of cash from Yahoo shareholders to boost the coffers of failed zombie companies on whose boards the CEO sits.”

The firm also claimed that Yahoo! needed to bring in a strategic partner to help it navigate the tax issues surrounding its Asian assets.