Tech Biz Roundup: Yahoo and Best Buy SCANDALS, Groupon Growls
Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) first post-Scott Thompson trading day has its shares moving up a bit, but not only because Thompson was removed from his contentious tenure as CEO. The company is now claiming ‘cause’ for his dismissal, says All Things D, which implies that he won’t get a large separation package. The burning issue of Thompson’s missing computer science degree is now devolved to a dispute between him and headhunter Heidrick & Struggles, as to which resume was provided to them, and by whom. However, Yahoo is quickly moving forward by replacing Thompson with Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO, and also accepting Third Point’s board nominations, all of which has prompted Henry Blodget to remark that “This is the best thing to happen to Yahoo in years.”. Also on Monday, Yahoo launches Genome, an ad technology solution that leverages the Interclick purchase, and Yahoo’s ad-inventory deal with Microsoft and AOL. Genome will also try to better utilize one of Thompson’s pet projects, the company’s customer data stores.
Further Reading: Yahoo: Thompson Ousted, Loeb Leads.
Stronger than expected response of retail investors to Facebook’s (FB) initial public offering, is allowing it to cease accepting orders on Tuesday, which is two days ahead of schedule. Institutional demand has been soft but retail investors are more than making up the deficit, according to IPO Boutique’s Scott Sweet, who remarked that “Early channel checks just completed, are revealing huge retail interest…many with extremely large orders”. On the other hand, BTIG’s Richard Greenfield and Forrester’s Nate Elliott express worries concerning Facebook’s advertising monetization ability. Elliott contends that Facebook “still hasn’t stumbled upon a model that’s proven consistently successful for marketers”, and that it ‘simply isn’t as focused on serving advertisers as it is consumers’.
Best Buy’s (NYSE:BBY) founder and Chairman Richard Schulze failed to inform his board’s audit committee regarding what he learned in December about allegations against former CEO Brian Dunn, and is now resigning. An independent inquiry found that Dunn “violated company policy by engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee” but didn’t misuse company resources. Director Hatim Tyabji will replace Schulze. In the meantime, the company’s independent directors have changes their positions about annual elections for the board and now recommend that shareholders approve the proposal. Overall, the board also supports the change as “an additional demonstration of our commitment to strong corporate governance practices”.
Investing Insights: Are These Signs Of A Groupon Recovery?
Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) soar, waiting for the first quarter report due later Monday. The company’s short ratio of 5.8 (as of April 30) isn’t exactly hurting the rally, either. Further, Benchmark bullishly remarked that Groupon should get a “big rally” from the Facebook initial public offering, and that the former will “meet or beat” first quarter estimates and will post improving cash conversion figures, though the second quarter guidance could be a bit problematic.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) chief John Chambers is here to stay, says a former executive, who reports that Chambers terminates anyone who challenges him, and that he has loaded the board with his own picks, such as ex-Yahoo officers Carol Bartz and Jerry Yang. Shares have remained in-range for more than 8 years, despite large repurchases.
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