23 September 2016 by Henry Ker
The latest governance stories in the news
Yahoo has revealed that hackers stole information from around 500 million users back in 2014. This would be the largest publicly disclosed cyber-breach in history.
Despite the hack taking place back in 2014, it has only now been made public. Yahoo says personal information – including names and emails, dates of birth and telephone numbers, as well as ‘unencrypted security questions and answers’ – was taken.
Yahoo claims the data was ‘stolen by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor’, although it did not say which country it believes was behind the attack.
Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s founder and majority shareholder, has taken over as Chief Executive. It follows yesterday’s resignation of the previous incumbent, Dave Forsey. Mr Ashley held the Executive Deputy Chairman position before taking this role and according to the BBC, the new position is permanent not temporary.
The development comes following recent uncertainty around Sports Direct’s board, with the majority of independent shareholders voting against Chairman Keith Hellawell’s retention. Mr Hellawell received the backing of Mr Ashley as majority shareholder and is continuing on – although he promised to step down at the next AGM if he has not turned independent shareholder confidence around by then.
Around 100 companies have been identified by HMRC as targets for the new ‘diverted profits’ tax – nicknamed the ‘Google’ tax. In doing so, HMRC aims to stop the ‘extraordinary lengths’ some companies go to avoid paying tax.
This tax targets contrived arrangements that shift profits to lower tax countries. Jim Harra, Director General of Business Tax at HMRC, said ‘There has been a significant reduction in appetite on the part of big business from engaging in avoidance and aggressive boundary pushing … But we won’t necessarily see a reduction in the amount of tax in dispute.’