Yahoo CEO denied seat on Alibaba board

14:14, September 20, 2010      

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group on Sunday turned down the suggestion by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz that she be allowed to join the board of Alibaba, replying that Bartz should focus on improving Yahoo's own business first.

Yahoo issued the following statement on Sept. 17:

"Our investment as a shareholder in Alibaba Group is strategic and a great one for our company and our shareholders," said Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo, Inc. "As an investor, Yahoo has no operational control in the Group and we're very supportive of the operational direction Jack Ma and his team are taking the Group. Jack is clearly one of the most impressive entrepreneurs of our time. We are not going to comment on any private discussions we may or may not have with our strategic partners. As with all matters like this, any decisions regarding this investment would be driven by what will create the most value for our shareholders."

Wang Shuai, chief marketing officer of Taobao.com under the group, said he has been "perplexed" by Bartz's decisions and attitudes since she became CEO of Yahoo in January 2009, claiming: "They demonstrate a lack of appreciation of the Internet, the mainland market and business partners."

In response to Bartz's suggestion that she join the board of Alibaba, Wang said: "Perhaps it would not be a bad idea for her to concentrate her efforts on improving Yahoo's current situation."

On Friday, Bartz touted Yahoo's 39 percent investment in Alibaba a day after the Chinese Internet company said Yahoo had rejected its offer to sell the stake back to the group.

The 62-year-old executive said the ideal time for Yahoo to exit from Alibaba will be after Taobao.com and Alipay.com, Alibaba's online shopping and payment subsidiaries, go public. She added that she will "probably" join the company's board later this year, when Yahoo gets a second seat on the board under its 2005 agreement with the company.

Wang said on Sunday that Alibaba had no plans for Taobao.com to go public.

Alibaba sold a 39 percent stake in the company to Yahoo in 2005 for 1 billion U.S. dollars and ownership of Yahoo China.

The relationship between the two companies has been deteriorating recently, especially after Bartz replaced Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang to become chief executive of the company.

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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