Longtime Yelp shareholder is seeking board overhaul

Longtime Yelp shareholder is seeking board overhaul

SQN Investors alleges years of missteps weigh on business, depress stock price

A longtime shareholder is giving Yelp Inc.’s management and board a bad review.

SQN Investors LP said years of missteps are weighing on the business-review company’s stock price and plans to publicly push it to add new board members, according to a letter the firm plans to send to Yelp’s board.

It wants the company to consider all options to get the business back on track, including a sale.

The hedge fund said in the letter, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, that it has been a Yelp YELP, +0.52%   shareholder since 2015 and now owns more than a 4% stake, making it one of Yelp’s five largest shareholders. The company has shown a “consistent pattern of operational blunders, poor forecasting and sharp guidance revisions” and as a result is ceding turf to less established review services such as those of Google GOOG, -3.01%   and Facebook Inc. FB, -0.09%  , SQN said in the letter.

Yelp’s platform allows people to rate and review local businesses such as restaurants, retail stores and service providers, assigning them ratings up to five stars and detailing their experiences for other patrons. The San Francisco-based company also connects customers directly to businesses by allowing them to book reservations.

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