Time Warner: Miller Can't Join Yahoo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Time Warner Inc said on Friday a non-compete clause in former AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller's contract prevents him from joining Yahoo Inc's board until March 2009.

Yahoo named Miller as a potential board member on July 21, as part of a settlement with activist investor Carl Icahn that averted what had promised to be a bitter proxy battle.

A source familiar with the matter said Miller had believed that Time Warner would not oppose him joining Yahoo because top executives at the media company had “greenlit” it, until he was told otherwise on Thursday night.

A Time Warner spokesman said the clause had never been waived.

“When Jon Miller signed his contract, it said that upon payout of the contract he could not work for a variety of competitors including Yahoo until March 2009,” a Time Warner spokesman said.

The news comes as Yahoo's shareholders attend its annual meeting to elect a new board of directors.

“Yahoo is not happy about this development,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

The latest development could put pressure on Time Warner's ongoing discussions to merge AOL with Yahoo.

Yahoo had no immediate comment. Miller declined comment.

News of Miller possibly not joining Yahoo's board was first reported by the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

By Kenneth Li

(Editing by Phil Berlowitz)