Yahoo said that after it closes the sale of its Internet businesses to Verizon, it will change its name to Altaba.
Yahoo is already a shell of its former self. Now part of the company will get a new name: Altaba.
When Verizon agreed to buy the company for $4.8 billion in July, it planned to purchase just Yahoo’s core Internet businesses, including its email service, sports verticals and various apps. What’s left of the embattled technology company would essentially be its ownership in the very valuable Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.
When the deal closes, the remaining part of Yahoo will change its name to Altaba, the company announced in security filings Monday. The sale is expected to be completed by late March, Yahoo said.
The new name is a combination of “alternative” and “Alibaba,” according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking, who was not authorized to talk on the record about the name and so spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Yahoo owns roughly 15 percent of Alibaba, holdings that are worth about $35 billion. The idea behind the name is that Altaba’s stock can be tracked as an alternative to Alibaba because Yahoo owns a sizable chunk of the Chinese company.
The name change reflects just how far Yahoo has fallen. The company, once an Internet giant and still the third-most-visited Web property in the United States, is now essentially a vehicle for holding Alibaba’s stock.
The new company, which will be publicly traded and until now has been referred to as RemainCo in security filings, 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 will be sold in a separate auction.
A Yahoo spokeswoman, Suzanne Philion, would not comment on the name, saying in a statement: “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”
The company also announced in the filings that Eric Brandt is now the chairman of Yahoo’s board. He is a former finance chief of semiconductor company Broadcom. Marissa Mayer remains chief executive and plans to step down from the board when the deal closes. Philion declined to comment on these changes.