Archive for September 2019

The geek queen: Marissa’s on a mission to save Yahoo

 There comes a moment in every very ambitious person’s life when she sees with perfect clarity that the path before her is blocked. For Marissa Mayer, Google employee No. 20 and Silicon Valley’s reigning “geek queen”, this moment occurred last year, when her former boyfriend, Google co-founder Larry Page, kicked her off the company’s elite operating committee, to which she had been appointed the previous year.
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Page had taken over the running of Google’s day-to-day operations from Eric Schmidt, the company’s longtime CEO, in April 2011, and immediately launched a major renovation of the company’s structure and priorities. Mayer was bruised in that reshuffling. For about a dozen years she had presided over “search” – which is to say everything the user saw, felt and experienced when navigating Google – but now she was shunted away from that core business and put in charge of “local” – maps, restaurant recommendations and the like. This was arguably a demotion – at best, a lateral move. And when Page overhauled the operating committee, or “OC”, Mayer’s reduced status was made both explicit and public. Mayer was not happy, according to people who know her. “Marissa is very, very, very driven,” says Brian Singerman, a former Googler who is now a partner at Founders Fund, a venture-capital firm. But at the office, she kept her cool. “She was a trouper,” is how someone familiar with the situation described her. “She worked through it.”

Google loyalists said the move was part of the reorganisation, plain and simple. Others said it was political, a punishment for Mayer’s inability to play nicely with other VIP Googlers, and bloggers began to wring their hands anew over the larger question of sexism in tech. Two other people removed from the OC were also women; one of them, Shona Brown, who ran business operations, “is a freaking Rhodes scholar”, says a former Googler, “another one of these rock stars”.

Although some of Mayer’s former colleagues insist her affair with Page had no bearing on their friend’s corporate profile, others disagree. “It’s got to have some impact,” says Dave McClure, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley who knows Mayer slightly. “I don’t know too many other senior female executives who went out with the CEO who were still there after they stopped going out.” Page got married in 2007. Two years later, Mayer married investor and lawyer Zachary Bogue.

She may have been stymied at Google, but Mayer, at 37, was already one of the most visible tech personalities in Silicon Valley. She was popular with the press for her accessibility in an industry notorious for its reclusive, or stammering, geniuses. She threw parties at her penthouse atop The Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco to which everyone yearned to be invited. And throughout Silicon Valley and among the groupies drawn to its idiosyncratic nerd glamour, she was as well known for her hobbies – notably a taste for high-end fashion and a large collection of Dale Chihuly hand-blown glass – as she was for her tech cred. In a world still struggling to leave behind that age-old bias – girls can’t do maths – Mayer was everyone’s favourite exception, fully girl and fully geek, a former ballet dancer who stayed up all night writing code. And one who seemed driven to make her own path when the men around her wouldn’t oblige.

In July, less than a year after news broke of her being sidelined at Google, Mayer was named president and chief executive officer of Yahoo Inc, making her one of 20 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and the only one to take the job while pregnant. Yahoo is a foundering brand suffering from a dramatic talent drain and years of chaos on its board and in its upper ranks. Its second-quarter results for 2012 were grim, with US search queries down 17 per cent from a year ago and time spent on its content pages down 10 per cent. Yahoo stock is worth about half of what it was five years ago. Mayer has to turn this around – and fast.

Her first child, a boy, was born on September 30. “Name TBD,” she wrote in an email she sent to a large circle of friends. “Suggestions welcome!” The email was signed, “With love and happiness, Marissa & Zack.” It is, perhaps, a blessing that she doesn’t think much, she has said, of the high-achieving mother’s mantra, “balance”.

In celebration of the new arrival, Mayer’s friend, former Googler Craig Silverstein, is thinking about building Mayer a homemade “diaper cake”: three tiers of nappies in three different sizes, stacked around an empty cardboard tube and decorated all over with toys, onesies and burp cloths. Mayer has made them for many of her friends’ babies and at the tippy top she likes to put a plush toy octopus. Silverstein calls the diaper cake “the perfect Marissa baby present”, saying, “It has usability at its core.”

Now that the US’s most notable geek girl has become its most visible CEO mum, there’s quite a bit of talk among professional women about how she’ll manage. So far, she’s not showing any interest in the conversation. No high-profile CEO in crisis-management mode wants to appear distracted; were Mayer a man, she’d surely be expected to hand out cigars and get back to work. So it’s difficult to begrudge her reluctance to air her dirty diapers in public. (Mayer has declined to speak publicly about the birth; “Marissa is focusing her energy internally,” a Yahoo spokes-person tells me.)

Since her arrival at Yahoo, Mayer has hired some people – a new CFO, marketing chief, head of human resources and publicist, plus one of Google’s top advertising executives, Henrique de Castro – and fired some others. She freed up US$4 billion in cash, holding money from the sale of part of Yahoo’s stake in the China-based e-commerce site Alibaba instead of returning it to shareholders, creating expectations that she’ll soon announce major acquisitions. She’s announced the closure of Yahoo’s South Korea branch. And she’s focused on boosting morale, giving employees free food in the Yahoo cafeteria and making quality-of-life improvements at the corporate gym and the parking lot.

But what little she has said about her domestic plans has been endlessly masticated. When Yahoo announced Mayer’s appointment, the internet was cautiously pleased. But when, in a carefully orchestrated manoeuvre later that same night, Mayer tweeted that she was expecting a baby, interest in her blew up. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long,” she later told Fortune magazine, “and I’ll work throughout it.”

The debate was as immediate as it was inevitable: was this good for working women or bad? Does Mayer’s display of ambition at the very moment of her blossoming motherhood show that a woman can, indeed, have it all? Yes, wrote Hanna Rosin for Slate上海夜网m: “Yahoo for Yahoo”. But others were not so sure. Mayer’s disregard for the preciousness of the mother-infant bond would not only harm her child – “Poor Marissa,” intoned a Christian blog called Wise Family Living – but also set a terrible precedent. Even a member of Angela Merkel’s cabinet felt compelled to weigh in: “I respect this personal step being taken by Ms Mayer,” said Kristina Schröder, Germany’s family minister. “But I regard it with major concern when prominent women give the public impression that maternity leave is something that is not important. Maternity leave is absolutely important and not just from a medical point of view.”

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, might agree. Sandberg has been promoting a message recently that is, for her, somewhat new – that women must be able to integrate their identities as mothers with their identities as professionals or they’ll never be happy at work. And then they’ll never succeed at the highest levels. “Before this,” Sandberg said in a speech at Harvard Business School earlier this year, “I did my career like everyone else does it. I never told anyone I was a girl. Don’t tell. I left the [office] lights on when I went home to do something for my kids. I locked my office door and pumped milk for my babies while I was on conference calls.”

For all her bravado, Mayer seems to be playing by Sandberg’s old rules, and while her reluctance to air her inner conflicts may reflect strategic concerns, it’s also a big part of who she is. Since her earliest days at Google, and despite a canny performance of her own “girliness”, Mayer has refused to make the Woman Question part of her public persona. She doesn’t want to talk at all about how being a woman – in tech, or at Google, or in upper management – makes her different from the guys in the room or deserving of any kind of special consideration. “I’m a geek,” is what she always says. She expresses gratitude to high-school science teachers who praised her aptitude and never added, parenthetically and destructively, that she was unusual for it. She insists that in college she never noticed that she was often the only female in the advanced computer-science courses. In Mayer’s view, the reason so few girls grow up to be computer scientists is that too few high-schoolers of any gender are exposed to computer science. If it turns out that after widespread exposure to computer science, “we still have an imbalance, we can deal with that then”, she said in an interview earlier this year.

Recently, that kind of compartmentalisation has become harder to pull off. At a tech conference in San Francisco in September, Mayer was on stage judging a competition among start-up companies looking unmistakably female – which is to say, hugely pregnant. She wore it well, in a black dress and slides, managing to appear chic-er, neater and more petite than her rumpled and slouching male counterparts. Indeed, the most notable thing about Mayer’s appearance that day was the extent to which her body language failed to corroborate her physical condition. She indulged in none of the posture shifting, belly caressing and back massaging that so often signals late-term discomfort. As puppyish entrepreneurs from seven start-ups paraded before her pitching their products – an electric car, an online apartment-rental service, an app that listens in on phone conversations – Mayer sat ramrod straight in a massive leather chair wearing expressions that ranged from blank to dyspeptic and doling out infrequent, grudging smiles. She asked fewer than five questions. “Can you talk about integration with [Apple’s] Passbook?” “How are you planning on scaling?” “What kind of accuracies are you seeing?” Then, flanked by bodyguards, she retreated behind a velvet curtain, helped to decide the winner (an online service that sends car mechanics on house calls), and was whisked off into the cold, damp night.

Yahoo has had several CEOs in recent years. Before the board settled on her, it had, according to news reports, already courted David Rosenblatt, of DoubleClick fame, and Jason Kilar, of Hulu. And so, despite its public pledges of support for Mayer the mum, the Yahoo board wasn’t really showing its feminist side in hiring her so much as it was praying Hail Mary. “People – men and women both – are more likely to put a woman or minority candidate into a top position when the company is distressed,” Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, says, referring to a phenomenon called the “glass cliff”. “This is a job that kind of nobody wants. The company sucks.” Mayer may have what it takes to run Yahoo, in other words, but her appointment is also a gimmick. She doesn’t want to talk about being a woman, but being a woman – and a pregnant one at that – probably helped her get the job.

Mayer first entered the job market in 1999, after graduating from Stanford with an esoteric major called “symbolic systems”, a mixture of philosophy, brain science and artificial intelligence. From several offers she chose Google, starting as an engineer before soon becoming a product manager; she was one of the earliest guardians, in other words, of the Google brand. In particular, Mayer was charged with protecting the home page – that iconic, blank, seemingly immutable interface between the powerful Google search engine and its public.

Over the years, Mayer oversaw dozens of large and small changes that improved the user experience at Google: the ability to type in queries in foreign languages; the enlarging of the search box; the graphical doodles that occasionally grace the logo (like the guitar that played when you ran a mouse over its strings); and, eventually, universal search, which allows users to see results in all categories at once. As she rose through the ranks at Google, she data-tested everything. She tested infinitesimal variations in the amount of white space between the Google logo and the first answer in a search-results list, finding that users liked less white space better. She tested the light-blue backgrounds on Google ads against a yellow hue and found not just that yellow worked better but that yellow ads made users happier with the site overall. In an effort to create coherence among all the different blues on different Google pages and products, Mayer once famously tested 41 shades of blue. “Design,” she said at the web-developer conference Google I/O, “has become much more of a science than an art.” This philosophy, more than anything else, led Google designer Doug Bowman to quit in 2009. “I won’t miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data,” he wrote in a blog post.

Those who succeed under Mayer tend to share her cutthroat world view: winners win. “She will outwork you; she will outwork anybody,” says Dylan Casey, a former professional cyclist who rode on the US Postal team with Lance Armstrong and later worked with Mayer at Google for half a dozen years. Indeed, Mayer has said that she pulled 250 all-nighters in her first five years at Google, and has been dismissive of people who, as she puts it, “want eight hours of sleep a night, three meals a day”. Casey remembers sitting in Mayer’s office, worrying about office politics – how was he going to get around so-and-so, what would so-and-so say, that sort of thing. The entire time, Mayer was facing away from him, answering email on her computer and nodding her head. Finally, she spoke. “Why are you running around the organisation looking for people to tell you ‘no’?” she asked. “You know what to do. Just go do that.” It was an empowering directive, Casey says. As a manager, Mayer lays out expectations, then allows people to sink or swim, he adds. “If you achieve excellence, you’ve met expectations,” Casey says. “You should be relieved, not elated.”

When people don’t like her, friends say, it’s because they find her manner “too transactional”. And it’s no surprise that an executive so dismissive of excuses would be so uncomfortable with acknowledging the compromises or conflicts of her own life choices. For her, parenthood is not a special category of extracurricular activity. Mayer’s approach to questions of work-life balance is to give everyone – male, female, married, single, with children or without – the freedom to leave work for the things that matter most, whether it’s dinner with friends or marathon training or being on time for the soccer game.

“I think that burnout happens because of resentment,” she has said. “That notion that, ‘Wow, I worked 100 hours last week, and I couldn’t even have this thing that I really wanted.’ ” As one of the most senior Googlers on staff, Mayer was notorious for demanding the respect of her peers and not taking kindly to arguments or disagreements from anyone, says another person who knows her. “She doesn’t listen as well as she speaks … I think she’s going to be a tough mom.”

Around the time that Mayer was booted off the OC at Google, another high-powered woman was being kicked around at Yahoo. Carol Bartz is, like Mayer, a female geek with a tough exterior. Bartz had been hired in 2009 to rescue the company; on a call with analysts soon after her arrival, she promised to “kick some butt”. Yahoo’s problems then were not so different to today: a depressed stock price; an exodus of the best talent to competitors, especially Facebook; a bloated organisational structure; a rudderless sense of mission and purpose. Bartz was supposed to change all that. “She presented a take-no-prisoners image and was touted as someone with a reputation as a professional manager who could clean up the place,” wrote Kara Swisher in the tech-news blog AllThingsD. Two years into her tenure, after rafts of lay-offs, Yahoo’s stock price was only slightly up and the board was at odds over whether or not Bartz had the vision to pull off the kind of dramatic rescue it thought Yahoo needed. A year ago, she left the company after blasting the following email company-wide: “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board.”

Bartz’s replacement, Scott Thompson, resigned after five months in the wake of revelations that he had embellished his resumé. So just how troubled is Yahoo? Nine months ago, the woman who was to be anointed Yahoo’s latest saviour couldn’t even remember its name. At the Computer History Museum in January, Marissa Mayer took questions. “In 1999, who were Google’s competitors in the search space?” one person asked. Mayer approached the question as if it were a parlour game and she were being asked to name the seven dwarves. She screwed up her face and began counting on her fingers: “Oh, let’s see. AltaVista. Lycos. Infoseek. Dogpile. Ask Jeeves. GoTo.” Here she stopped and paused. For two full beats, she was stuck. And then: “Oh! Yahoo!” Mayer laughed. She has a husky voice, but her laugh is pure dork, a hybrid of giggle and snort. “That’s embarrassing.”

So far, despite a vow of “radical transparency”, Mayer has revealed very few specific plans to revitalise the company. Trained at Google – where the ethos is to launch products early and often, then fix them later – Mayer is expected to break through the bureaucratic layers that have ossified at Yahoo and draw fresh talent, especially into the ranks of engineers. “Tech people respect her,” says Sarah Milstein, a social-media consultant. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the most optimistic Yahoos hope that with her technical chops and her celebrity heat, Mayer can somehow transform drab Yahoo into thrilling Google.

So far, however, investors are less impressed. On her hiring, the stock price barely budged. “I guarantee you 100 per cent that if you put Mark Zuckerberg in that job, the stock price would have gone up,” says Eric Ries. On the day after her son’s birth, the value of the shares actually fell.

Over the past few years, Mayer has transformed herself from a woman who looked, dressed and talked like a graduate student into a femme-bot tech exec deserving of a spread in Vogue. Indeed, Mayer’s true genius lies in the constant cultivation of her own celebrity via new iterations of her geek-girl persona.

Mayer is the most fashion-conscious executive in Silicon Valley, a place where fashion hardly matters. She continues to insist that she’s just a geek, even as she pays $60,000 at an auction to have lunch with Oscar de la Renta. Last year, at a Fortune cover shoot, Mayer was photographed in three simple outfits, all suitable office wear. But she wanted to be shot in an Alexander McQueen gown she happened to have with her. And in September, on the day after Yahoo completed the first stage of the Alibaba sale, Mayer tweeted a photo of herself at the opening night of the San Francisco Symphony, wearing a maternity gown by “my friend and brilliant designer Erdem”.

She travels the San Francisco party circuit and hosted President Obama at her house for a fund-raiser, but in 2009 she protested to The New York Times that she was “not a girl about town”, saying she spent her weekends playing with electronics. Before audiences at Google headquarters, she has interviewed Lady Gaga and Martha Stewart.

This newest version of Marissa, the mum-geek-CEO, will surely test Mayer’s powers, for she’s playing to a tougher crowd, one that won’t be placated by tweets, Manolos and rapturous praise for pineapple malts. Scrutinising her every move are the rest of Yahoo’s activist board, 11 (mostly) men who will surely fire her if she can’t bring up the company’s share price. And back at home there’s Baby Boy Bogue, eventually named Macallister, who doesn’t care about anything except when he next gets fed.

Edited version of an article that originally appeared in New York Magazine.

Lead-in photograph by Art Streiber/August/Raven & Snow.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.


POPULAR: 89 Tooke Street, Cooks Hill, sold for $1.04 million. BLIND BUY: 1/2a Beverley Crescent, New Lambton Heights, was bought unseen.
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It is a rare event when a buyer walks into an on-site auction and becomes the successful bidder without having seen the property before, let alone doing due diligence such as pest and building.

Raine & Horne Newcastle agent Josh Manna said he had just that scenario play out recently when he auctioned a two-bedroom townhouse at 1/2a Beverley Crescent, New Lambton Heights.

The buyer bought the property at auction without ever seeing it before, paying $337,000 on the fall of the hammer.

‘‘There were five registered bidders,’’ Mr Manna said.

‘‘He had missed out on a property that morning; he walked in and had a quick look and was ready to go.

‘‘It happens once in a blue moon. Hence the reason we do auctions, because anything can happen.’’

Mr Manna also sold 383 Glebe Road, Merewether, prior to its scheduled auction last weekend for $492,500.

He said vendors sold prior to auction if the money was right and the offer was unconditional.

‘‘It was pretty much what the owner was happy with,’’ he said.

The Glebe Road property was one of 18 scheduled for auction last weekend, as reported to Australian Property Monitors.

Of those, another five sold prior to auction and four sold under the hammer – a clearance rate of 55.55per cent.

Another sold prior was Elbrook – the Bar Beach house belonging to Knights chief executive Matt Gidley and his wife Larissa, which fetched $1.76 million through PRDnationwide agent George Rafty.

Mr Rafty also squared away two others prior to last Saturday’s scheduled auctions – 16 Pindari Close, Charlestown, for $745,000 and 89 Tooke Street, Cooks Hill, for $1.04 million.

The large number of properties sold prior could indicate a willingness by vendors or buyers to get a deal settled before Christmas, considering it can be difficult to find solicitors and conveyancers over the Christmas/January holiday period.

But George Rafty said he didn’t believe it was just the run-up to Christmas motivating buyers,citing a busy market over the past six months.

‘‘Ever since March, it has been incredibly busy – as busy as I have seen it,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a record month last month of sales, there has been other big months this year, but last month was the biggest.’’

He said numbers at open houses were very strong.

There were more than 20 attendees at first inspections and some properties sold at the first open home, for instance.

‘‘Although the [first-home owners] grant has lapsed, we are still getting a lot of people looking at that cheaper end of the market,’’ Mr Rafty said.

He said confidence was now also flowing into the mid- and upper-range markets as well.

People in the upper end of the market believed, he said, that now was the time to be buying.

Obeid associate ‘told to lie’ to journalist

Eddie Obeid … associate “told to lie” to journalist.The Obeid family instructed an associate to lie to The Sydney Morning Herald, a corruption inquiry has heard.
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Justin Kennedy Lewis, who runs the courier company Yellow Express, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption that when he received an email from the Herald journalist Anne Davies in May 2010, he took it straight to the Obeids’ business headquarters at Birkenhead Point in Sydney.

The sons of the ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid, at the time a member of the upper house, took it upon themselves to lie to Ms Davies.

“There’s a few truths in there, and a couple of lies as well,” he said of his emailed reply.

Mr Lewis told the ICAC that the Obeids instructed Mr Lewis to say that he did not know there was coal under his property when he purchased it in 2008.

Giving evidence today, Davies said that when she rang Eddie Obeid in 2010 while researching her article, Mr Obeid said that if he had known there was going to be an exploration licence over his property in Bylong, “I wouldn’t have bought it”.

His son Moses Obeid told Davies the family was intending to “fight off” the potential coal miners The inquiry has heard Mr Lewis bought his property in November 2008 for $3.5 million but on the same day, he was entering into a deal with the Obeids to on-sell it to a coal mining company for $17 million.

When asked why he had agreed to give the Obeids 30 per cent of the profit from the sale, he replied: “If they made me a whole bunch of money, I’d be happy to give them an earn.”

The commission is examining the circumstances under which the Obeid family used inside information from a government coal licence tender to enrich themselves to the tune of $100 million.

Evidence has been given that the Obeids and two of their associates, including Mr Lewis, bought farms in the Bylong Valley knowing that Mr Obeid’s colleague Ian Macdonald, the then mining minister, was going to announce a coal licence over their properties.

Mr Lewis admitted today that he did have prior knowledge from the Obeids that there might be a coal licence granted over the land. However, he maintained that his primary interest was still farming. Mr Lewis prompted laughter when he was asked about the kind of cattle he wanted to run on his Bylong property. The kind that “walk around and eat grass”, he said. And of farming in general, he offered: “To my way of thinking, how hard could it be?”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Icy dives find light in Antarctic depths

Light fantastic … images captured by the remote camera. Frozen world … vision from beneath the Southern Ocean.
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Australia’s Antarctic researchers have taken a rare look at the luminous world under the polar sea ice, and brought it home.

A remotely operated underwater vehicle was sent into the frozen depths of the Southern Ocean about 3400 kilometres south-west of Hobart to find vibrant light under the jumbled pack ice. It came back with an abstract artist’s palette of blues and greens.

“The ROV’s icy dives transported us into a different world,” the voyage’s science leader, Klaus Meiners, of the Australian Antarctic Division, said in Hobart on Friday.

On the late-winter voyage the icebreaker Aurora Australis punched into the ice and stayed fixed while researchers fanned out to gather data.

They drilled a hole in the ice beside the ship to lower the ROV through, then operated it by a joystick as its cameras took them on an under-ice ride.

“The subsurface of the ice was like a badly eroded mountain range, with Antarctic krill and patchy areas of algae,” Dr Meiners said.

Satellite observation by the British Antarctic Survey and NASA recently showed the Antarctic sea ice was expanding slightly, in contrast to the Arctic’s dramatic loss.

More powerful winds accompanying climate change appear to be blowing the ice away from Antarctica’s coastline in some areas.

But Dr Meiners said climate models predicted sea ice in Antarctica could decline by 35 per cent in volume by the end of the century.

“So understanding the distribution of sea ice algae will enable us to assess the impacts of climate change on the Antarctic marine ecosystems into the future,” he said.

The researchers also used a high-volume water pump to capture live krill for the division’s aquarium in Hobart.

“Most krill research has been conducted on adult krill during the Antarctic summer and only a few studies have focused on the larval stages during winter,” AAD krill aquarium manager, Rob King, said.

This time the ice pack also caught the Aurora Australis, holding it for 10 days before the ship was able to punch itself free and return to Hobart.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Mariner makes play for surfwear brand Globe

Corporate investment group Mariner has made a $19.7 million scrip takeover bid for struggling surfwear group Globe only two days after the surfwear group received a second strike against its remuneration report which spilt the board.
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Mariner told the Australian Securities Exchange today that it had the offer to the Globe board, offering 47.5 cents per share for each Globe share, totalling $19.7 million for the company’s 41.463 million shares.

However, the offer is not a cash bid. Mariner will offer 5 fully paid Mariner shares for every 4 fully paid Globe ordinary shares. Based on the closing prices of Mariner and Globe shares yesterday, Mariner said its offer represented a 21.8 per cent premium to the Globe closing price of 39 cents on November 15.

Globe shares were unchanged at 39 cents this morning.

Mariner said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today it was making the offer because Globe had performed poorly for many years and it believed there was appetite among Globe shareholders for a change.

It said by converting their stock to Mariner shares Globe investors had the opportunity to become part of a growing and successful Australian investment company.

“Mariner’s objective is to become a substantial shareholder of Globe, seek board representation and implement strategies to bridge the gap between Globe’s NTA and Globe’s current share price,” the company said.

Globe’s NTA was $26.5 million at June 30 against a market capitalisation of $16.6 million.

“Mariner has a proven track record,” the company said in its statement.

“We create value for Mariner shareholders by driving change in the companies in which we invest. Investors who want to unlock value for their Globe shareholding should become Mariner shareholders.”

Globe chief executive Matthew Hill and his brothers Peter and Stephen hold a 67.8 per cent stake in the company and will be the key to the takeover’s success or failure. Globe has yet to release a statement on the scrip takeover offer from Mariner.

It has been a troubled time for Globe and its major shareholders, the Hill family.

On Wednesday retail billionaire Solomon Lew and fund manager Kidder Williams triggered a spill of the Globe board at its annual meeting after voting against its remuneration report for a second consecutive year. Mr Lew has a 5.9 per cent stake in the company and Kidder Williams holds 2.3 per cent.

Globe’s net profit fell to only $62,000 last financial year, down 95 per cent from $1.09 million in the previous year. Revenue was down slightly to $83 million.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.