A week after Yahoo gained final shareholder approval, Verizon has today announced it has closed the purchase of the ailing internet giant. The finalization sees the US telecommunications giant acquire the company for $4.5bn and results in current Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, step away from her position.
Verizon will fold Yahoo into its Oath subsidiary, which is also a holding company for 50 media brands, including AOL. Oath has been created to cover media assets and will be headed by former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.
As for Mayer, she was widely predicted to step aside as the former Google-exec had been against the sale. A recent $23 million golden parachute was given to the former CEO. It is hard to see Mayer's five-year tenure at the company has anything more than a failure.
“Given the inherent changes to Marissa Mayer's role with Yahoo resulting from the closing of the transaction, Mayer has chosen to resign from Yahoo. Verizon wishes Mayer well in her future endeavors,” Verizon said in a statement.
She entered Yahoo as a hot shot executive from Google, but struggled to rejuvenate the company. However, Mayer leaves Yahoo having increased her net worth to $540 million. On her Tumblr page today, Mayer spoke well of her time at the company and cited plenty of successes:
“It's been my great honor and privilege to be a part of this team for the last 5 years. Together, we have rebuilt, reinvented, strengthened, and modernized our products, our business, and our company.
Looking back on my time at Yahoo, we have confronted seemingly insurmountable business challenges, along with many surprise twists and turns. I've seen our teams navigate these hurdles and mountains in ways that have not only made Yahoo a better company, but also made all of us far stronger.”
The closing of the troubled acquisition brings to an end Yahoo as an independent company. One of the first true internet giants, Yahoo failed to adapt to the growth of social media and specialist websites.
Over recent years the company has been in gradual and seemingly terminal decline. Verizon will at least afford the company a level of security, but it is still unclear how Yahoo can adapt to achieve growth.
“The close of this transaction represents a critical step in growing the global scale needed for our digital media company,” said Marni Walden, Verizon president of Media and Telematics (which will include Oath), in a statement. “The combined set of assets across Verizon and Oath, from VR to AI, 5G to IoT, from content partnerships to originals, will create exciting new ways to captivate audiences across the globe.”
Verizon has already said it will cut around 15 percent of all staff involved in the Yahoo merger with AOL.
“Oath's strategy is to lead the global brand space. With access to over 1B consumers upon close, we will be positioned to drive one of the most important platforms in the consumer brand space. Consistent with what we have said since the deal was announced, we will be aligning our global organization to the strategy.”
The security leak that compromised the accounts over one billion of its users. The attack happened in August 2013 and has led to authorities calling for action against the internet giant. Verizon ultimately lowered its bid, which was accepted.