It’s looking like the end of an era as Yahoo plans on changing its name to Altaba if and when the $4.8 billion dollar sale to Verizon goes through. At that time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will step down from the board of directors; there is no news yet, however, on whether her role as CEO will change.
The remaining business will be a holding company with stakes in Alibaba (a massive Chinese online store and portal headed by Jack Ma), as well as Yahoo Japan. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the name Altaba is a fusion of “alternative” and “Alibaba,” which Yahoo currently owns about 15 percent of. The new company is intended to be publicly traded, continuing its work with Alibaba and a 35.5 percent ownership of Yahoo Japan. The New York Times also reported on the unusual name for the new company, noting that a scissors manufacturing business in Pakistan called “Al-Taba” virtually shares the same name.
In addition to Marissa Mayer, David Filo, Maynard Webb, Eddy Hartenstein, Jane Shaw and Richard Hill will also be leaving the board once the acquisition is complete, with Eric Brandt remaining and serving as chairman. According to Yahoo, the departures are “not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices." Those staying on include Catherine Friedman, Jeffrey Smith, Thomas McInerney and Tor Braham.
It’s reported that the Yahoo brand will continue to live on after Verizon’s purchase of the core business model. The name change only represents the remaining shares currently owned by Yahoo.
Questions still remain on whether or not the Verizon acquisition for $4.8 billion will proceed. Severe hacks affecting more than one billion user accounts were revealed after the deal was originally announced back in July, leading some to speculate that the deal may be renegotiated or even abandoned entirely. Some executives have publicly expressed doubts. In an interview with Reuters, Verizon executive Marni Walden, stated, "I can't sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don't know.” According to Reuters, “Walden added that the merits of the deal still made sense and that there were certain aspects of the investigation that had yet to be completed.”
There are conflicting reports on whether or not Marissa Mayer will stay on as CEO or work for Verizon in some capacity, assuming the acquisition takes place. In a July post on Tumblr, Mayer was quoted as saying, “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.” However, according to a source in an article from Recode, it would be unlikely she’d stay. “Marissa is not working for Tim at a phone company,” said the source, referencing that in an acquisition Yahoo will be integrated into AOL, headed by CEO Tim Armstrong.