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Yahoo waves the white flag, puts its biggest critics on its board

Yahoo won't have a proxy fight with Starboard Value, and it looks much more likely to sell.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The Yahoo proxy fight has been called off.

Yahoo has made peace — or at least called a truce — with Starboard Value, the investor group that has been its loudest and most persistent critic. The deal: Starboard will add four directors, including Starboard CEO Jeff Smith, to the Yahoo board; in return, it is withdrawing its plan to replace the entire existing Yahoo board.

So that means Marissa Mayer and company don’t have to worry about a proxy fight at their upcoming annual meeting.

Next question: What does that mean for Yahoo’s odd sale process, which sometimes seems like it’s not really a process at all?

At face value, a sale seems much more likely. Starboard has spent the past few months pushing for a sale, and now Smith will be on the board’s strategic review committee — the one that’s supposed to figure out if Yahoo should really sell its core unit to Verizon or someone else.

And since we know that Smith’s answer is “yes,” it’s reasonable to think that things are going to move much faster now.

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