In an e-mail sent to employees from her iPad and titled “Goodbye,” Bartz wrote: “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board.” She wrote, “It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.”
The combative chief executive had been under pressure to turnaround Yahoo from the day she was appointed. Yahoo remains one of the biggest destinations on the internet but has lost gound with advertisers and audience to Google, Facebook and services like Twitter.
According to research firm eMarketer Facebook is set to overtake Yahoo this year to collect the biggest slice of online display advertising dollars in the US.
Bartz joined Yahoo in January 2009, replacing co-founder Jerry Yang who had returned to the helm of the company in an ill-fated bid to turn its fortunes around. When Bartz joined the firm its shares were trading for around $12. After news of her departure broke, the shares jumped more than 6% in after-hours trade to $13.72, from a close of $12.91 on the Nasdaq. In January 2000, near the end of the dot-com bubble, Yahoo’s shares traded at more than $125 a piece.
Bartz had also fallen out of favour with Wall Street investors, unhappy with her turnaround strategy and her handling of the firm’s strained relatonship with China’s Alibaba Group, in which it holds a 40% stake.
In June Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock gave his public support to Bartz at the company’s annual general meeting. “This board is very supportive of Carol and this management team,” Bostock said in his opening remarks. “We are confident that Yahoo is headed in the right direction.”
Bartz, had previously been chairman of software firm Autodesk. She arrived with a reputation as a tough talker and reinforced it early in her tenure by telling Michael Arrington, founder of the influential Techcrunch website to “f*** off” during a staged interview at an industry event.
Her management style came under fire after the company’s apparent mishandling of its relationship with Alibaba. In May when it was revealed that Alibaba had handed Alipay – one of Alibaba’s crown jewels – to a company controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, apparently without Yahoo’s knowledge. Alibaba said Yahoo was fully aware of the transaction and the two sides openly bickered about the deal.
Yahoo is conducting a strategic review of the company’s options, including possible divestment of its Asian holdings. It cautioned that no decisions had yet been made.
Bostock said: “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. I would also like to express the Board’s appreciation to Tim and thank him for accepting this important role. We have great confidence in his abilities and in those of the other executives who have been named to the Executive Leadership Council.”
The company also said its directors named five other senior Yahoo executives to an executive leadership council that is intended to help Morse, a former chief financial officer at Altera, a semiconductor makers, and at General Electric Plastics, manage the company.
SOURCE: The Guardian