I'm in downtown San Jose's Plaza Park, across from the Fairmont Hotel where today's Yahoo shareholder showdown will occur.
The event will take place in the Grand Ballroom, which seats 1,000, and I'm told Yahoo has also booked 10 adjacent rooms for spillover. There are 50 registered media here, everyone from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Hollywood Reporter.
Even a journalist from as far away as Germany. And since each outlet was only allowed one seat, that should give you an idea of the interest level here.
Shareholders began arriving here around 8 am PDT, with registration beginning at 8:30 am PDT. Activist shareholder Eric Jackson, who has put together a coalition of investors representing over 3 million shares, is here and tells me he will be addressing the board, in much the same way he addressed the board at the shareholders meeting last summer. At that time, he called for then-CEO Terry Semel to step down, and six days later, he did.
The meeting begins at 1 pm EDT. Carl Icahn himself won't be here. The drama centers around what kind of support Yahoo's nine member board has, and whether any of them will be voted out of office because of the botched merger with Microsoft, as well as a company whose share price hasn't done much of anything, even though rival Google continues to generate far bigger returns for its investors.
Speculation is that chairman Roy Bostock, Ron Burkle and Arthur Kern might be in jeopardy because of the roles they played on Yahoo's compensation committee that created a severance package for employees that could've cost Microsoftan extra $1 billion to get its deal done. There was also speculation that the holders of those two additional board seats given to Carl Icahn would also be named, but I'm told we'll have to wait until August 15 for their names. Odds on favorites are former AOL chief Jonathan Miller and former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi, Jr.
Meantime, all of this is set to begin shortly. I'll be updating through the day, so please check back often.
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