Bartz ousted as CEO of Yahoo – CFO Tim Morse to take helm

7 Sep 2011

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has been fired as part of a major reorganisation of the internet portal company. She revealed the situation in an email to staff.

She wrote: “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’s tenure at Yahoo! has been if anything difficult and she presided over difficult and alarming decisions for shareholders such as search advertising deals with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The last few months have been marked by difficult relationships with Yahoo!’s trading partners in Asia.

Bartz came into the CEO role in 2009, to take over from co-founder Jerry Yang, who many believed bungled an opportunity to sell the company to Microsoft.

In a statement, Yahoo!’s board of directors have appointed Timothy Morse interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.

The board has also named key senior Yahoo! executives to a newly formed Executive Leadership Council tasked with supporting Morse in managing the company’s day-to-day operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as supporting a comprehensive strategic review the board has initiated to position the company for future growth.

Roy Bostock, chairman of the Yahoo! board, said, “The board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalise, and our primary objective is to leverage the company’s leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities.

“We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders.”

Bostock continued: “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.”

Photo: Yahoo!’s former CEO, Carol Bartz

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years