Business / Corporate

Yahoo Japan and Plus exercise their shareholder rights to oust Askul CEO

JIJI

Yahoo Japan Corp. and Plus Corp. said Wednesday they have exercised their shareholder rights to oust four board members of stationery seller Askul Corp., including President and CEO Shoichiro Iwata.

Askul shareholders are scheduled to meet Aug. 2. The moves by Yahoo and Plus, a stationery firm, increase the pressure on Iwata as they together hold a majority stake in Askul. Yahoo is the top shareholder of Askul and Plus is the second-largest shareholder.

Yahoo said Askul needs drastic reform to achieve an early earnings recovery, rejuvenate management, improve medium- and long-term corporate value and maximize shareholder value.

Three independent directors also need to leave Askul’s board to take responsibility for naming Iwata as president and CEO, Yahoo said.

Plus cited Iwata’s responsibility for Askul’s weak earnings, among others, as reasons for its opposition to his re-appointment.

Relations between Yahoo and Askul have been strained over the future of Lohaco, a struggling shopping site for individual customers.

Yahoo demanded the resignation of Iwata. Askul rejected the request and called for talks to dissolve their capital and business alliance.

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