NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - The following is the text of a letter sent by activist shareholder Carl Icahn to Yahoo Inc's board chairman, Roy Bostock, on Wednesday:
Dear Mr. Bostock:
I have long been cynical about the effectiveness of many of the boards and CEOs in this country and as a result the inability of our companies to compete. I have constantly complained about how far CEOs and boards will go in order to retain their jobs, yet even I am amazed at the length Jerry Yang and the Yahoo board have gone to in order to entrench their positions and keep shareholders from deciding if they wished to sell to Microsoft.
According to details in a complaint that I became aware of yesterday (details Yahoo fought to keep under seal), Jerry Yang and a majority of the board went to inordinate lengths to sabotage a Microsoft bid. The complaint states: "Viewing employee retention as Microsoft's Achilles heel, Yang engineered an ingenious defense creating huge incentives for a massive employee walkout in the aftermath of a change in control. The plan gives each of Yahoo's 14,000 full-time employees the right to quit his or her job and pocket generous termination benefits at any time during the two years following a takeover, by claiming a "substantive adverse alteration" in job duties or responsibilities." The damage to Microsoft "is compounded by the fact that Yahoo's thousands of engineers, known as "Technical Yahoos!", have detailed job responsibilities and qualifications."