Yahoo President Sue Decker has taken the high road. In a CNBC interview that aired Wednesday, she said she looks forward to meeting investor activist Carl Icahn when he joins the company's board and would "love to get his advice."
Icahn, who reached a settlement with Yahoo earlier in the week, agreed to halt his proxy fight in exchange for being appointed to the board after the company's August 1 shareholders meeting. Yahoo also agreed to expand its board to 11 members and select two directors from a list that Icahn provided.
In the past two months, Yahoo and Icahn have been exchanging barbs, as the proxy fight gained steam.
Nonetheless, Decker, who has never met Icahn, said in the interview recorded Tuesday:
I'm totally looking forward to meeting him and would love to get his advice.
And in defense of turning down the $33-a-share buyout offer Microsoft had floated to the Internet search pioneer, which it later withdrew after Yahoo countered with a bid of $37 a share, Decker had this to say:
Pre- and post-Microsoft's offer, our stock is pretty much in the same place as when we evaluated its $31-a-share bid.
She noted that the stock has held its ground, despite a tough economic environment. And that she tries to avoid getting consumed by the swirl of distractions that have been under way since Microsoft announced its unsolicited buyout bid in early February.
I try to focus on things I can control.
Is it frustrating, sure, when people talk about the departure of employees, but I would like to get the distractions behind us.
As Yahoo heads toward its annual shareholders meeting and institutional investor advisory services weigh in on which Yahoo directors to re-elect, the background noise may still be a bit distracting for the next week and a half.