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Yahoo’s Board to Weigh Sale of Core Internet Business

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.Photograph by Ethan Miller — Getty Images

Yahoo’s board will consider the sale of its core Internet business during a string of meetings this week, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources.

The ultimate decision could mean a major turning point for the Web portal, which has struggled to keep pace in the rapidly evolving online landscape.

Amid investor pressures, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced earlier this year that she would spin off the company’s $30 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA). But the Internal Revenue Service has recently declined to give early approval to plan, which means that Yahoo may face hefty taxes if it proceeds.

On November 19, major investor Starboard Value sent a letter to Mayer that advised her to hold onto the Alibaba stake and to instead look to sell the company’s core Internet properties. If Yahoo followed the advice, it would be no more than a holding company for its Asian investments.

Mayer has had a roller coaster ride since being appointed CEO in 2012 following a series of short-lived predecessors. Investors have increased grown impatient with the company’s direction as it continues to struggle with its turnaround despite its acquisition spree, including paying $1 billion for blogging service Tumblr, and a big push into mobile.

Following the news, Yahoo’s stock saw a 7% jump in after-hours trading.

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(The story has been updated to reflect that Yahoo’s stock price has jumped by 7% following the news.)