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Yahoo names Icahn allies Biondi and Chapple to board

August 14, 2008 |  1:54 pm

Frank Biondi Yahoo today named former Viacom chief Frank Biondi Jr. and ex-Nextel boss John Chapple to its board of directors, fulfilling a promise it made to settle the proxy fight with agitator-investor Carl Icahn.

Both men had been on a slate of candidates for the board Icahn put forward after Yahoo failed to sell itself to Microsoft. After it became likely that Icahn wouldn't win enough shareholder votes to get control of the board, he accepted a compromise that gave him one seat and Yahoo's pick of his allies two more.

"Frank's extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, combined with John's deep management experience in telecommunications, will provide valuable perspectives to our already diverse board," Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to working with them as our board continues its ongoing efforts to enhance stockholder value."

Biondi was CEO of Universal Studios between 1996 and 1998; before that, he spent more than eight years as CEO of Viacom. Chapple was CEO of Nextel Partners from 1998 until 2006, when Sprint bought the company.

Former AOL Chief CEO Jonathan Miller, an ally of both Icahn and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, had been seen as a shoo-in for the board. But Miller's candidacy was derailed when AOL parent Time Warner invoked the noncompete clause he had signed.

-- Joseph Menn

Photo: Frank Biondi. Credit: Sam Mircovich / Reuters

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