Yahoo CEO Mayer Said Among Guests Invited to Sun Valley Meet

Jun 23, 2014 11:02 pm ET

(Updates with Ma plans in third paragraph.)

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is among the invited guests at the annual Allen & Co. Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, according to a person with a copy of the list.

Yahoo has a 23 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., whose planned initial public offering in August is likely to a major topic of discussion at the annual retreat.

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, also invited, doesn’t plan to attend, said another person, who asked not to be identified because the event is private.

The event, always heavy on executives from media and entertainment, has leaned toward technology in recent years, reflecting the industry’s hot acquisition and IPO market. The conference is known as a place where deals are hatched, such as last year’s sale of the Washington Post to Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos.

Mayer has unveiled a dozen acquisitions this year, while investors have been awaiting Alibaba’s IPO, which could value the online retailer at $168 billion and make it largest stock- market debut ever in the U.S.

Allen & Co. advised Facebook Inc., whose co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is a regular attendee, on its $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February. It was one of the underwriters of Twitter Inc.’s $1.82 billion IPO in November.

The investment bank, based in New York, didn’t respond to a request for comment after normal business hours. Anne Espiritu, spokeswoman for Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, declined to comment.

New Faces

Mayer arrived at Yahoo two years ago from Google Inc. with a mandate to turn around the struggling U.S. Web portal. She has bolstered the company’s media services, hiring high-profile journalists including Katie Couric and former New York Times technology writer David Pogue, and authorizing the development of scripted programs for Internet viewing.

New faces, not on last year’s list, include Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock Inc., Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera Inc.; and Pandora Media Inc. Chairman Brian McAndrews.

Held annually at the mountain resort, the investment bank’s conference brings together some of the world’s most-successful business leaders for panels on topics ranging from energy self- sufficiency to professional sports.

Regular Crowd

This year’s conference runs from July 8 to 13. Regular attendees from the world of media and entertainment include Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeffrey Bewkes; filmmaker Harvey Weinstein; Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.; Legendary Entertainment founder Thomas Tull and Casey Wasserman, who heads the sports agency Wasserman Media Group.

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Robert Iger is on the guest list again this year, as are Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo and parks chief Thomas Staggs, both considered possible successors when Iger retires in 2016.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who attended last year, is on the list again. So is Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

--With assistance from Brian Womack in San Francisco.