Verizon Wireless has recently announced this week that it had managed to close its $4.48 billion buyout of Yahoo, amidst a lengthy and at times tricky negotiation phase replete with shareholder spats and breaches of security. As Yahoo moves on to a whole new chapter (where it is no longer an independent business entity), Marissa Mayer, the chief executive officer of the Internet giant, has chosen to step down, announcing the decision on Tumblr. As for Yahoo itself, the Big Red’s plan is to combine the company with recently acquired AOL, plus various other brands, in order to form an entirely new Verizon owned company called Oath, which will then be headed by Tim Armstrong, the former CEO of AOL.
It was in July of last year when the biggest wireless carrier in the United States officially announced its plans of acquiring Yahoo, but realizing these plans proved more challenging than everybody thought. Yahoo had drawn some flak after it revealed that it had gone through a couple of major hacks (which many consider to be two of the greatest cyberbreaches in history). The first had happened in 2014, affecting around half a billion Yahoo user accounts, but was only disclosed last September. A few months after, Yahoo then revealed an ever worse breach that occurred in 2013 and affected more than a billion users. It was reported about seven months ago that Verizon Wireless had requested Yahoo for a reduced buyout price in light of the massive security breaches.
But the acquisition deal eventually pushed through, and now marks the end of an era for one of the most successful Internet companies of the modern age. When Stanford students David Filo and Jerry Yang formed Yahoo in 1995, they only meant to start an online directory for everything that can be found in the information superhighway. But the company went to grow exponentially into a favorite search engine (and later into a true Internet portal) and free email service provider. Yahoo’s success paved the way for other names like Google, Amazon, and later Netflix, brands who would later overtake Yahoo and become the new Internet giants in recent years, along with social media companies like Facebook and Snapchat. Yahoo did make an effort to remain relevant -- under Mayer’s leadership (she became CEO in 2012), she tried to rebrand the company to fit the mobile age, but ultimately fell short.
Will Yahoo get a fresh start under Verizon Wireless’ Oath? That remains to be seen for now, but if anybody can do it, it just might be the number one mobile operator in America, or so Yahoo fans hope.
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