The new name is meant to be a combination of the words “alternative and Alibaba,” according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak on the record about the name change.
We can all admit now that Yahoo hasn’t really been what it used to be these days. Now the company has an obscure new name: Altaba.
When Verizon came to an agreement to buy the company for $4.8 billion in July of 2016, it planned to take over Yahoo’s core Internet businesses only – the email service, sports verticals, and various apps. What’s left of the troubled tech company would essentially be a part of the very valuable Chinese Internet giant, Alibaba.
As soon as the deal closed, the remaining part changed its name to Altaba, the company previously announced in security filings.
The new name is apparently a combination of the words “alternative and Alibaba,” a source familiar with the company’s thinking said (who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak on the record about the name change).
Yahoo owns roughly 15 percent of Alibaba, worth about $35 billion. The idea behind the name is that Altaba’s stock can now be tracked as an alternative to Alibaba since Yahoo owns a sizable chunk of the Chinese giant.
So what happens to Yahoo (Altaba) now?
The name change just reflects how far down Yahoo has come from its position atop the mountain. The company, that was once an Internet giant (and is still the third most visited Website in the U.S) is now essentially a cart for holding Alibaba’s stock.
The new company, which will be publicly traded, also owns a 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan, the company’s Japanese affiliate, and Yahoo’s cash, as well as a patent portfolio that is being sold off in a different auction.
The company also announced that Eric Brandt, former finance chief of semiconductor company Broadcom, is now the chairman of Yahoo’s board. Marissa Mayer, former Chief Exec, stepped down from the board when the deal closed.