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Carl Icahn has resigned from Yahoo's board of directors after a stint that saw him fail to flog the company to Microsoft and the web firm's shareprice continue to slide.

The troublemaking investor said there was no longer any need for Yahoo! to have an activist director on the board. He said he was focussed on other matters so did not have the time to devote to the job.

Icahn said, according to Reuters: "When I joined the Board, the company was in a state of turmoil. In the period since then, we have all worked together to achieve much for the Company, most notably bringing Carol on to be the CEO and then consummating the search deal with Microsoft."

He said chief executive Carol Bartz was doing a great job and the deal with Microsoft "will provide great long term benefits, the potential of which many still do not understand".

Icahn began building his stake when Yahoo! shares were at $25 - they are currently trading at just over $17.

Although he has been reducing his stake in recent months, the adventure must still have cost him dearly.

Icahn began battling Yahoo's management when they rejected a takeover bid from Microsoft. He built a five per cent stake in the firm and proposed an alternative board of directors to run the firm.

The long-running battle with founder Jerry Yang ended in July 2008 when Icahn was given a seat on the board, but he never succeeded in selling the company to Microsoft. ®

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