In July of 2016, we got to know that Verizon would acquire Yahoo for $4.8 Billion. Details were sketchy at best with no future plans included. Fast forward to 2017 and we have a lot of changes headed for Yahoo. The biggest change? Yahoo changing their name to Altaba.
What is Altaba? Think of it as Yahoo without the Yahoo
First and foremost, Yahoo will be renamed “Altaba”. Marissa Mayer, Company CEO of Yahoo will step down from its board of directors as soon as the major sale to Verizon is completed. This is in accordance to an 8-K filing released by Yahoo.
Note that Verizon isn’t buying all of Yahoo. Rather, this acquisition essentially splits the company into two. One half is the Yahoo we all know and love. This includes the apps and features that Yahoo users, well, use. The other half is a holding company which will hang onto the shares in Alibaba and others.
With Verizon as the new owners of Yahoo, it’s likely that the brand “Yahoo” and a series of websites developed under that name will still exist, if not in real life, at least in our hearts.
The role of Marissa Mayer is yet to be determined by Verizon, but she has mentioned that she wishes to stay with her company. According to a blog post by Mayer, “For me personally, I’m planning to stay … It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”
Image taken from http://www.newyorker.com
It should be noted that the renaming of Yahoo to Altaba and Mayer leaving the board are only applicable to the holding company alone. That company is not exactly Yahoo, rather it’s a collection of stock and insignificant patents. As such, there’s no real reason in calling it Yahoo. This also means that Mayer’s role in this company is not required either. For those who visit Yahoo to check their mail or sports news, this whole thing doesn’t mean much.
In an attempt to make things less of a confusion, Yahoo tried releasing Alibaba as a separate company thus proceeded to sell Yahoo off in a proper manner, but the tax situation showed preference to Altaba.
Essentially, to sum it all up, the key components of Yahoo will become part of Verizon. The remainder of the stuff left behind (such as the holding company) will be renamed to Altaba.
More importantly, none of these will happen until and unless Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo closes. With two rather damaging data breaches under Yahoo’s belt, it’s also possible that Verizon may drawback the initial deal and settle for a lesser price or at worst, drop the deal entirely.