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Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz now has a third board seat she can fill. John Chapple, the president of PE firm Hawkeye Investments (and the former CEO of Nextel) won’t stand for re-election in order “to devote more time to his other business interests.”
Chapple was one of two directors that activist investor Carl Icahn brought to the Yahoo board in August 2008 in order to settle a proxy fight designed to remove Yahoo’s board and replace it with a new board that would negotiate the sale of the company to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Since then, of course, Yahoo has reached a search ad deal with Microsoft, and Icahn has both greatly reduced his stake in the firm and even quit the board.
Chapple is the fourth board member to leave since Bartz was hired last January, meaning a third of Yahoo’s 12-member board will have departed. In addition to Icahn, the other directors who have either left or announced their intention to do so are Maggie Wildreotter and Ron Burkle, who announced he was leaving only last month.
The departures give Bartz an opportunity to refashion the Yahoo board to her own liking, although so far she has made only one appointment, selecting former Ernst & Young partner Sue James to fill Wildreotter’s position. We’ve asked Yahoo if the company intends to replace Chapple’s seat.