Dan Loeb, of Third Point, has long used letters to executives and directors as a way to gain publicity and make his views heard.
As an activist investor, he's not afraid of getting dirty laundry into public air. He's now locked in a bitter showdown with the Yahoo! board. He's questioned the company's strategy and choice of new directors and is waging a proxy battle for board seats. He recently found an explosive weapon: A padded resume by the CEO and a board member.
"Irreparable damage to Yahoo's culture will continue every day that the board allows Mr. (Scott) Thompson and Ms. (Patti) Hart to remain at the helm of the company after having clearly demonstrated that they lack even the 'minimum qualifications for service as a director of the company," Mr. Loeb wrote, in one his signature letters.
"If there is a good explanation for the apparent discrepancies regarding the academic records of Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart, we are confident that it will be provided promptly. However, in the event that there is no good explanation, we expect the Board to take immediate action."
To be sure, he has raised the letter to the directors to a near art form. When he has a wedge as powerful as this, he's on really firm ground. This portends what could be a very memorable annual meeting. Loeb notes that the meeting has not yet been scheduled. The board will find it increasingly difficult to stick to its guns, and some sort of transition at the top and on the board may be in the offing. Will Carol Bartz be back?
Dan Loeb fights Yahoo! with social media