Altaba Inc: The bits of Yahoo not sold to Verizon will be rebranded
Despite a couple of embarrassing hacking-related setbacks, Yahoo’s $4.83 billion sale to Verizon still looks set to go ahead in some form or other – but the parts of the company left over will no longer have the Yahoo brand attached.
As part of the sale, some parts of the company will be maintained: 15% of Alibaba and a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan, but they won’t be called Yahoo anymore. The remaining company will now be known as Altaba Inc. Whether the Yahoo brand continus to exist in any form is down to its new owners, although a spokesperson insisted they would continue to exist back in July. That, notably, was before the various hacking scandals emerged, dragging the brand name through unwanted criticism.
The news comes in the form of an SEC filing, which explains the structure of the new company. Of the current board, just five board members will stay on: Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith. Everyone else, including CEO Marissa Mayer will step down, and be no part of Altaba.
The SEC filing also reveals that Altaba acknowledges its recent security failings have put the company at risk. Under a segment highlighting “risks and uncertainties,” the company acknowledges “risks that Verizon may assert, or threaten to assert, rights or claims with respect to the Stock Purchase Agreement as a result of facts relating to the security incidents disclosed on September 22, 2016 and December 14, 2016 and may seek to terminate the Stock Purchase Agreement or renegotiate the terms of the Sale Transaction on that basis.”
They’re right to be cautious. The 2016 Yahoo hackings were unprecedented in their scale, as this graph from our friends at Statista demonstrates:
No matter what happens, the company is a long way from its glory days of the late 1990s, where it is preserved for evermore on YouTube with cringey, dated adverts like this, from back when the internet was in its wacky infancy:
Image: Neon Tommy, used under Creative Commons