Daniel Loeb — the guy responsible for ousting the former foul-mouthed Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and also sabotaging potential successor Scott Thompson in favor of current CEO and Google darling Marissa Mayer — is pulling out the majority of his stock in the company, at a profit of $610 million, and stepping down from the board. Loeb and his hedge fund, Third Point, have sold 40 million shares back to Yahoo which doubled in value over two years to $1.2 billion, suggesting Loeb knows something about Yahoo's stock. But while Loeb will keep 20 million shares, the move suggests he thinks their value has peaked.
Yahoo's rising stock price is Mayer's biggest point of success. Since she took over, the stock has made a steady climb or more than 70 percent. The hope from Mayer and the rest of the shareholders is that trajectory would continue as Mayer brought in more revenue — something she hasn't done yet. Loeb's departure, however, suggests some internal fear that might not happen. Analysts have blamed the drop on Loeb's hunch that the stock has reached its high for awhile, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Anytime a big name investor with some know-how and a bunch of stock pulls out big lump of shares, its cause for concern. Peter Thiel, one of the first and more prominent investors in Facebook, essentially pulled the same move on Facebook, suggesting he had lost faith in the social network's power to make money. Loeb, whose recent sell will decrease his total stake from six to two percent, has the same symbolism.