In January 2009, Yahoo announced that Carol Bartz would replace co-founder Jerry Yang as CEO. Bartz boldly vowed to make sure Yahoo got some "friggin’ breathing room" so it could "kick some butt." Well, two and a half years later, it seems Yahoo’s board was definitely after some breathing room—only from Bartz herself. Reuters reports that Bartz was ousted by Yahoo’s board on Tuesday, passing the CEO torch to CFO Tim Morse, at least for the time being.
According to TechCrunch, Bartz sent an apparently bitter and unceremonious e-mail to Yahoo’s employees just before the news broke. Take a look:
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.
Sent from my iPad
A person "close to the company" quoted by Reuters claims the board voted unanimously to let Bartz go, although former CEO Jerry Yang abstained, as did Bartz herself.
Bartz earned a reputation for her bold, tough-talking approach, like when she gutted Yahoo’s search business and partnered up with Microsoft to use Bing as the new search back end. In hindsight, however, Reuters notes that the Bing deal "appears to favor [Microsoft] at Yahoo’s expense," and it says Bartz saw Yahoo’s revenue growth "falter and sputter out." The company could now be "ripe for a takeover," in the words of YCMNet Advisors CEO Michael Yoshikami.