AOL has won a victory in its public battle with one of the company's major investors, Starboard Value. The Web portal announced this morning that it reelected all of its incumbent board directors.
In recent months, Starboard was clamoring for a board shakeup, even suggesting its own potential nominees. But at AOL’s annual shareholders meeting today, CEO Tim Armstrong was able to maintain the board as he saw fit.
AOL did announce that it would pursue the addition of two new independent directors to its board. But it appears as though any thoughts of Armstrong losing influence or control of the company have been vanquished—at least for now. Under Armstrong’s lead, AOL has been aggressively fighting back against Starboard’s complaints. Last month, in a letter to shareholders also shared with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Armstrong wrote, “We do not believe [Starboard Value CEO and chief investment officer] Jeffrey Smith and his Starboard nominees have demonstrated an understanding of AOL’s basic business model.”
Armstrong likely feels some vindication.“Today's outcome reaffirms our strong belief that AOL has the right strategy and team to successfully execute on our plan to continue to deliver enhanced value for all stockholders,” said the company in a statement.