An SEC filing from today reveals two seemingly major changes to what is left of the onetime web giant Yahoo, but the reality of the situation is less major shake up than corporate shell game.
What's happening: If and when Yahoo successfully merges with Verizon, Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's CEO, will resign its board of directors as the company changes its name to Altaba. As Business Insider understands it, and as others are framing it too, assuming Verizon does indeed acquire Yahoo's operating business for the $4.8 billion it's proposed, this is the end of Yahoo and the end of Marissa Mayer's tenure as its CEO.
Actually, neither is necessarily the case. CNet clarifies that not all of Yahoo is being sold — just its consumer web empire, the home of Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Sports, etc. That will belong to Verizon, and it seems likely Verizon will seek continuity with those properties by keeping the Yahoo name attached to them.
What's left of Yahoo after Verizon buys all that? Oh, just its hugely valuable $36 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce mega-company Alibaba.
Per the SEC filing, the size of the board will be reduced to five directors in light of the changing nature of the company — it will operate as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 — and Mayer, along with five others, will resign from the board while Eric Brandt will serve as its chairman, to be joined by four other board members. Finally, following closing, as the company wrote in the SEC filing, it will be changing its name to "Altaba Inc." from "Yahoo! Inc."
Marketwatch writes of all this that the news is being misconstrued and sensationalized. "Yahoo will still be Yahoo, Altaba will be a zombie company comprising a bunch of assets and few, if any, tasks, and Mayer may or may not still be running the actual Yahoo." In its analysis, Altaba will be nothing more than a ticker symbol — and one designed to better resemble the business it actually stands for, Alibaba.