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Entire Yahoo Board Would Be Ousted if Starboard Value Gets Its Way

SAN FRANCISCO — Starboard Value plans to make good on its threat to start a board fight at Yahoo.

Starboard, the activist hedge fund, plans to announce as soon as Thursday that it will put up a slate of nine directors for the Internet company, according to a person briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. In doing so, Starboard is seeking to oust Yahoo’s entire incumbent board as the company pursues a potential sale of itself.

Starboard said earlier this year that it planned to challenge Yahoo’s board if it believed that Yahoo did not appear to be changing itself quickly enough or if it had doubts that the sales process would succeed. The planned move by Starboard comes days before a weekend deadline for nominating directors.

Starboard has already called into question the leadership of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive and a director.

Starboard could not immediately be reached for comment. A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment. News of Starboard’s plans was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

By increasing the pressure on Yahoo’s board, Starboard believes, it will bolster the chances that the onetime web giant will finally sell its core businesses.

Yahoo has argued that it is serious about exploring such a sale, retaining three investment banks and contacting a number of potential buyers, including telecommunications giants, media companies and private equity firms. A number of possible suitors have signed nondisclosure agreements, though the process is still in its early stages.

Earlier this month, Yahoo appointed two new directors to its board: Catherine J. Friedman, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, and Eric K. Brandt, the former chief financial officer of the chip maker Broadcom. Starboard was not consulted about the appointments, a signal that Yahoo intended to hold firm against the investor.

A rival slate of directors would present another hurdle for Ms. Mayer, who has labored to turn Yahoo around since taking over in 2012. She has grappled with multiple issues at the company, including departures of key executives and the handling of Yahoo’s valuable stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

In an interview last week, Kenneth Goldman, Yahoo’s chief financial officer, said, “There are tons of people who are pulling for us, including many, many investors who may not be that outspoken.”

Starboard rose to fame by taking on Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden, successfully ousting that company’s entire board after an unusually blistering public attack that accused the restaurant operator of insufficiently salting its pasta water.

Yahoo is no stranger to activist investors. Nearly four years ago, the hedge fund mogul Daniel S. Loeb took aim at the company and helped orchestrate the ouster of its then-chief executive, eventually claiming three seats on the board and pushing for the hiring of Ms. Mayer.

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