updated 07:55 pm EDT, Tue September 6, 2011
Yahoo chief Bartz uses iPad to reveal departure
Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz today said she had been fired from the top spot. Using her iPad to send the news, she told staff that the Chairman of the Board Roy Bostock had dropped her "over the phone." A copy gleaned by TechCrunch showed a terse note without indications of who would take over or the reasons why.
Extra sources pointed to CFO Tim Morse stepping in as CEO until a more permanent replacement was found. The AllThingsD tip also had founder Jerry Yang involved in pushing Bartz out.
The reasons for the departure likely revolve around performance. Yahoo hasn't recovered like expected after Yang was removed from the CEO spot, and it continues to bleed staff without a clear sign of where the company can go next. Some have also pointed to Bartz' at times legendary bluntness and rough language even on results calls, which has been at least polarizing.
For Microsoft, the shuffle is a hit to its attempts to get traction in the online world. Yang's relegation to a symbolic title was seen as a way of removing an obstacle to the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal that put a more sympathetic leader at the top. Any replacement isn't likely to immediately reverse the deal but might not be sympathetic to a Bing deal that was mostly one-sided.
The agreement lasts for a decade, but neither company has said whether escape clauses exist if Microsoft and its Bing engine didn't improve Yahoo's performance.