Proof – if it were still needed – of the irreparable damage a data breach can inflict on a brand has emerged once more following reports that Yahoo will rebrand as Altaba, if and when Verizon finally agrees to buy its core Internet business.
According to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission, if the deal goes through, the remaining part of Yahoo will change its name, while controversial chief executive Marissa Mayer will be one of six board members – including co-founder David Filo – to step down.
The new Altaba company will retain its 15% stake in Alibaba and its 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan. One report quotes an insider who explains that the new name is meant to be a combination of the words “alternative and Alibaba”, although it has been greeted with howls of derision.
The Yahoo brand has been dragged through the gutter of late. In September, the firm was forced to admit that a then record-breaking 500 million of its customer accounts had been compromised.
Three months later it was revealed that a separate 2013 attack had blown that record out of the water by exposing over 1 billion customer details, including “names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers”.
At the time, it was claimed that the company had been using a password system which was viewed as “broken” nearly two decades before the attack.
While terms of the deal have yet to be released, Verizon has reportedly demanded a discount on the original $4.8bn price in light of the mass data breaches. A reduced deal could yet be announced before the sale closes – there are even suggestions that the sell-off may be scrapped altogether.
A company spokeswoman said: “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”
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