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Bartz sacked as Yahoo CEO

Carol Bartz, former chief executive officer, Yahoo

Carol Bartz has been sacked as CEO of Yahoo, after more than two and a half years at the firm. CFO Timothy Morse has been made interim CEO while the board looks for a successor. Morse will also continue in his role as CFO.

Bartz was appointed CEO in January 2009, prior to which she was executive chairman of CAD software outfit Autodesk. However, she had no previous experience in online advertising, which is Yahoo’s primary source of revenue.

During her time at the firm, she oversaw a tie-up between Yahoo and Nokia. The global deal saw the two firms offering one another’s services, with Nokia providing Yahoo with mapping and navigation services and Yahoo providing Nokia with email and instant messaging capabilities.

Yahoo’s share price rose a meagre $1.15 during Bartz’s time the helm. Upon news of her exit, Yahoo’s share price climbed more than six per cent to $13.72 in after-hours trading.

Bartz announced the news to the entire Yahoo workforce with an email that revealed she had been dismissed in a phone call from chairman Roy Bostock.

Allen Weiner, research VP at Gartner questioned the timing of the Yahoo board’s decision to lay off Bartz.

“Bartz’s dismissal is not a major shock to Yahoo watchers as her departure has been speculated for more than a year, but the timing of the action comes as a surprise. Yahoo has a major client event in mid-September and a change in leadership as the company enters a generally strong fourth quarter is curious.”

He added that the firm could promote a successor from within or look externally, but doubts that Morse’s appointment will be more than a short-term solution.

“No successful media company in recent memory has been helmed by a finance guy. The company could look inward to EVP Ross Levinsohn former President of Fox Interactive or could begin the challenging search for a rare Steve Jobs-like leader who can spin the dials of the Yahoo Rubik’s Cube and revive this once-iconic brand.”


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