SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A dissident group of Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders said on Sunday it had launched a campaign to sell their shares as a block, breaking ranks with Yahoo as it faces an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research).
Eric Jackson, leader of an outspoken group of 100 current and former Yahoo employees that own 2.1 million shares and call themselves "Yahoo Plan B," said his group was prepared to negotiate separately with Microsoft or any other bidder.
"We have no desire to see Yahoo! continue independently with the current board and management team in place. We believe that is a recipe for a $17 stock price," Jackson wrote on his blog site, which can be found at tinyurl.com/3yglgz/.
"Therefore, we will band together as a group and agree to sell our Yahoo! shares to the highest bidder," Jackson wrote.
Jackson called on other investors to join the block. The 2.1 million shares he said he and his group own is a tiny fraction of the roughly 1.4 billion Yahoo shares outstanding.
But his group is the first among Yahoo shareholders to speak out publicly against the company's expected rejection of Microsoft's offer.
Jackson was the star of Yahoo's annual meeting last June, where he led a move to challenge the direction of the company.
In the meeting's most memorable moment, Jackson accused then Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Semel of mismanaging the company and failing to do more to revive its share price