Shares of Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: Yahoo) were mixed Monday as it appeared a proxy fight looms for its board of directors.
At the close, the shares rose 1 percent to $15.54, up 15 cents. Yahoo shares have lost nearly 4 percent this year since Scott Thompson, 54, became chief executive in January. In the four preceding months, the shares had gained 23 percent.
On Sunday, Yahoo elected three new board members in a bid to stem a proxy battle by Third Point Capital, a hedge fund in New York, that has said it nominated four rival directors, including principal, Daniel Loeb, 50.
Yahoo appointed John Hayes, 56, an executive vice president of American Express (NYSE: AXP); Peter Liguori, 50, a former president of Discovery Communications and Thomas McInerney, 44, CFO of IAC/Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq: IACI).
Third Point has a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, making it one of the company's largest shareholders.
Previous Board Moves
Previously, Yahoo added Thompson to the board along with Alfred Amoroso, 61, former CEO of Macrovision, and Maynard Webb, 55, a former executive with IBM (NYSE: IBM). Yahoo's chairman, Roy Bostock, 70, plans to retire at the company's the annual meeting.
Bostock said Yahoo had considered electing one of Third Point's candidates -- Harry Wilson, 40, but Third Point rejected the idea. Wilson narrowly lost the 2010 race for New York State comptroller as a Republican to incumbent Democrat Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Third Point also is backing former NBCUniversal president Jeff Zucker, 46, and former MTV Networks president Michael J. Wolf, 51.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Third Point said it believes the board's appointment of the newly appointed directors was not in the best interests of the company.
The Third Point filing didn't comment on Thompson's latest strategy to boost Yahoo, suing for alleged infringement of patents by Facebook (NYSE: FB), before the San Francisco social media giant completes its initial public offering. Yahoo wants to enjoin Facebook as well as receive payment for alleged infringement.
Facebook hasn't yet filed its response to Yahoo's suit in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., but has issued statements denying any infringement.