Embattled Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz, has been fired from her
position with over a year remaining on her contract.
Calling it a “leadership reorganization” in its official
statement, Yahoo said it was replacing Carol Bartz with Chief Financial Officer, Timothy Morse, who will
act as interim CEO. Morse will be helped out by a newly formed Executive
Leadership Council in the day-to-day running of the business while a permanent
successor is found.
Bartz was informed of the decision over the phone by Yahoo
chairman Roy Bostock, which ended a two-and-a-half-year tenure marked
by stagnation and in-fighting with its Chinese partner Alibaba.
In May 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 – and
Bartz’s – knowledge. In July the company reported falling revenue despite growing profits.
Bartz emailed Yahoo employees to inform them of the
decision, but as is the way with such things, the email was leaked. She said:
“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.”
Bartz was brought in to try and turn around the internet
giant but she failed to make significant ground on Yahoo’s main rivals, Google
Investors obviously welcomed the news of the firing, as in
after-hours’ trading the company’s shares jumped 6 per cent to $13.72, up
from $12.91 at close. Yahoo’s share price when Bartz joined was $12, a world
away from the share price of $125 at the turn of the century.
In a statement 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.”