Yahoo or Altaba: Internet trailblazer to lose soul in fight for survival? Or will Verizon deal fall through?

Altaba is a combination of the words "alternate" and "Alibaba," which is supposed to reflect Yahoo's new role as a holding company,


Yahoo has said in a regulatory filing that if the Verizon deal comes through the firm will change its name to Altaba and that chief executive Marissa Mayer will step down.

Altaba, which is a combination of the words "alternate" and "Alibaba," is supposed to reflect Yahoo's new role as a holding company for investments for China's Alibaba Group and Yahoo! Japan.

That's a cataclysmic change for a generation that grew feeding off internet. Then again you can't help but get hit with a sheer wave of nostalgia knowing that an era may come to an end in the history of internet as we know it.

When I was young and naive in the big bad world of internet, I bravely went to explore this new world with a mail ID which was called Then again, I grew up and decided that I needed a little bit more from my email than coolness and shock value. So I changed my name and also for better functionality I changed my email service provider. It was a practical decision because Yahoo was simply just not the place to be as times changed.

All that was well before Marissa Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo! in 2012 after her stint at Google. It was also before the revelation in 2013 that personal details of around 500 million users using Yahoo! mail service have gone through the breach. I am happy that I had abandoned that ship long way back. I am pretty sure that there are lots of Yahoo! users still around the world but I am just not one of them.

But now Yahoo is losing its name in its fight for survival, as if it were. In an SEC filing, Yahoo! says: 'In light of the fact that following the Closing (the deal), the Company will operate as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Board has determined that, immediately following the Closing, the size of the Board will be reduced to five (5) directors.

Yahoo had earlier announced that it made a $4.83 billion deal with Verizon, where it would part with its core internet business, which involves also its digital advertising, e-mail and media assets,

Mayer, along with Yahoo! co-founder David Filo and four other board members, will leave the group if the Verison deal goes through.

'Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith will continue to serve as directors of the Company following the Closing and Mr. Brandt will serve as Chairman of the Board.

'Each of David Filo, Eddy Hartenstein, Richard Hill, Marissa Mayer, Jane Shaw and Maynard Webb has indicated that he or she intends to resign from the Board effective upon the Closing, and that his or her intention to resign is not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices.'

However, there is a chance that this deal may not go through owing to the fact that Verizon has become less enthusiastic about the entire deal after a second breach of one billion accounts had come into light in the recent future or may even change the terms of the deal which may not go well with Yahoo.

This article was first published on January 10, 2017