NEW YORK (AP)--Yahoo's board is creating a committee of independent directors and hiring a trio of economic advisers in its long-running bid to redefine itself.

Shares rose nearly 2 percent before the opening bell Friday.

Yahoo Inc. is cutting staff and under extraordinary pressure from big shareholders who are threating a proxy fight with the company. Some of them say Yahoo must break off its Internet operations, the core of its business, after 3 1/2 years of declining revenue under CEO Marissa Mayer.

Mayer said in a written statement Friday that splitting off Yahoo's huge stake in China's Alibaba is "essential" to boost shareholder value.

--Associated Press