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MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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Yahoo: Patiently waiting

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, March 27, 2012
On 26 March, Yahoo Inc. (NASD:YHOO) named three new independent directors to its board. Investors were demanding a shakeup since Carol Bartz was dismissed in amid a wave of colorful invectives last September.

At least one investor is still unhappy. Third Point LLC run by Daniel Loeb wanted to seat three of his own nominees, or absent that, himself. The owner of just under 6% of the firm promised a proxy battle.

Chairman Roy Bostock, whose reputation was tarnished by that encounter, and who announced in February that he will be stepping down, offered the usual platitudes about the benefits of the changes that were made. Stakeholders remain cautiously optimistic. The reputational metrics indicate that major operational changes are not expected in the new environment; rather, they suggest incremental improvements.

The Steel City Re brand of reputational benchmarks indicate that Yahoo's financial performance is at the median level for its peer group comprising 131 firms in the Internet Software and Services sector. Notwithstanding a relatively high reputational ranking of 94th percentile within this group, the firm is not expected to have major reputational changes. All reputational volatility measures are low and going forward stability measures are high. Nevertheless, the indicators show a slow positive change in reputational standing that may reflect optimism over the new CEO and pessimism over the new board and the upcoming proxy fight.

The company, which is a constituent member of the 2012 RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index, is one of only 5 of 38 that have lost value since entering the index.

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