Five events that led Yahoo to where it is today
SUNNYVALE -- After years of perpetual turnaround efforts, Yahoo is stepping closer to a sale.
TERRY SEMEL DOESN'T GO FOR GOOGLE
YAHOO SAYS "NO, THANKS" TO MICROSOFT
Feb. 1, 2008, may end up as Yahoo's day of infamy. On that date, Microsoft made an unsolicited, $44.6 billion cash and stock offer to acquire Yahoo. CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang said no, arguing that Microsoft's offer undervalued Yahoo. Microsoft eventually raised its bid by $5 billion, or $33 a share, but Yang and Yahoo wanted more, and demanded $37 a share. Microsoft withdrew its offer and by November 2008, Yahoo shares fell below $9.
After Yahoo turned down Microsoft, Jerry Yang gave up his CEO job and was replaced by former Autodesk chief Carol Bartz in January 2009. Bartz was known for her salty language as much as for her penchant for secrecy among Yahoo's executive ranks and rounds of company layoffs. By 2010, the proxy-voting firm Glass Lewis called Bartz the most-overpaid CEO in America after she received a compensation package of $42.7 million.
Bartz was fired as CEO in September 2011 via a phone call from the company's then-chairman, Roy Bostock.
SCOTT THOMPSON'S RÉSUMÉ
If you blinked, you might have missed Thompson's CEO tenure. Thompson, a former PayPal executive, became Yahoo's CEO on Jan. 4, 2012. Three months later, Yahoo announced 2,000 job cuts, or about 14 percent of its employee base at the time.
And then in May 2012, Dan Loeb, manager of the Third Point hedge fund, which at the time owned almost 6 percent of Yahoo's stock, released documents suggesting Thompson had misrepresented his college education. Thompson had said he held degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College, but it turned out Thompson only held an accounting degree. The controversy became so much that Thompson resigned after barely four months as Yahoo's CEO.
MARISSA MAYER TAKES CHARGE
Following Thompson's brief period as CEO, Yahoo looked to make a splash with its next leader, and in July 2012 hired Google engineer and executive Marissa Mayer. At 37, Mayer was the youngest Fortune 500 CEO at the time. And nearly every move Mayer has made since coming to Yahoo has garnered headlines and sparked some controversy.
Mayer led Yahoo's $1.1 billion acquisition of the Tumblr blog site in 2013. She instituted controversial performance reviews in which managers were to rank employees on a bell curve and fire those at the bottom. Mayer revamped Yahoo's remote-working policy and required all employees to work from company offices. She hired Katie Couric to be the chief global anchor of Yahoo News and brought in noted tech guru David Pogue to launch the Yahoo Tech Site.
But as Yahoo's share price fell more than 34 percent in 2015, investors and fund managers raised their voices about everything from Mayer's business strategy to how much Yahoo spent on its holiday party. Activist investment firms such as Starboard and SpringOwl Asset Management have threatened proxy fights to replace Mayer and Yahoo's board at the company's next annual meeting.