Major Yahoo shareholder seeks vote review
A major Yahoo Inc. shareholder has asked for a review of how its votes were cast in last week’s reelection of the Internet company’s board, raising questions about whether the opposition to the directors may have been understated.
Capital Research Global Investors of Los Angeles, which owns a 6.2% stake in Yahoo, demanded the review Monday, Capital spokesman Chuck Freadhoff said. Capital World Investors, a related fund that owns nearly 10% of Yahoo, didn’t make the same request.
Capital Research wants independent vote counter Broadridge Financial Solutions to make sure that the fund’s votes on the Yahoo directors were accurately transmitted, Freadhoff said. He declined to discuss how Capital Research intended to vote or what prompted the request for a review.
Capital Research’s manager, Gordon Crawford, has publicly scolded Yahoo’s leadership for its response to a $47.5-billion takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., which withdrew the offer three months ago after Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang demanded more money.
Crawford had indicated that he might vote against some Yahoo directors -- particularly Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock -- to punctuate his displeasure.
Since Microsoft walked away, Yahoo shares have plunged 32%, closing Monday at $19.38, down 42 cents.
Yahoo stood by the results certified by an independent inspector after its annual meeting Friday.
“Yahoo did not participate in the execution of the votes and was not a party to any errors which may have been made either by a voting institution or a proxy processing intermediary acting on behalf of banks, brokers and institutions,” the Sunnyvale, Calif., company said in a statement.
All nine directors were backed by at least 78% of the voting shareholders, faring better than last year, when the outcry against the incumbents wasn’t as intense. Three directors, including Bostock, were opposed by more than 30% of the voting shareholders last year.
The unusual inquiry was first reported on the technology blog All Things Digital.