Yahoo! CEO: ‘I’ve just been fired over the phone’

Following a tense period in which rumours swirled over when, or if, she would be axed, colourful Yahoo! CEO, Carol Bartz announced the end of her tenure at the internet company. The announcement was made via an email to staff, sent from Bartz’s iPad.

With the subject line, “Goodbye”, the email went out to all Yahoo! employees was obtained by technology blog AllThingsD.

In the email, Bartz — as a “last f%*& you” to the Yahoo! board according to AllThingsD — wrote:

To all,
I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.

In a press release from Yahoo! with the understated title of, “Yahoo! announces leadership reorganisation”, Roy Bostock — the chairman mentioned in the email — was quoted as saying, “On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Carol for her service to Yahoo! during a critical time of transition in the company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop”.

Also announced in the press release was that chief financial officer Timothy Morse, was to take the reigns of the company “effective immediately”.

Bartz was hired in 2009 following the board’s decision to replace co-founder Jerry Yang. Yang was fired owing to shareholder anger at his turning down a US$47.5-billion buyout deal from Microsoft in 2008. Bartz has had a decidedly rocky tenure at the helm.

A Silicon Valley veteran, famous for her questionable and sometimes controversial statements, Bartz, according to CNN, promised a turnaround and pivot that would have set Yahoo! on a path similar to that of chief rival Google.

Though there were no catastrophic failures at the company during her tenure, as was evident at the company’s Annual Shareholder’s Day in June, Google and Facebook’s more than enviable growth relative to Yahoo! has troubled investors.

Whilst the board felt that Bart’s time in charge warranted a thank you, the fact that her axing prompted a six percent jump in Yahoo’s stock-price during after-hours trade, showed investors may not have been of the same opinion.

Image: Yahoo! Flickr Stream



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