Carol Bartz: Yahoo “F—ed Me Over”

Posted Sep 8, 2011

Carol Bartz was recently fired from the CEO position at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). Carol Bartz was quoted as saying “These people f**ked me over.” Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock called Carol Bartz on her cellphone to fire her. Bartz was in New York speaking at the Citigroup technology conference the next day when she was supposed to call Bostock at 6PM. She called Bostock at 6:06PM and he started reading a lawyer’s prepared statement to fire her.

“I said, ‘Roy, I think that’s a script,'” she said in the interview. “‘Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?'” Bostock finished reading the statement and Bartz didn’t argue.

“I got it. I got it,” she told Bostock. “I thought you were classier,” she added. Carol Bartz was made Yahoo! CEO in January 2009. Yahoo! expected Bartz to be able to turn the company around even though she was able to slash costs and improve profit margins.

Bartz said that Yahoo! wanted revenue growth even though they were told that revenue growth would not be seen until 2012. Yahoo! has been paying Microsoft 12% of its search revenue, which limits growth. This deal is expected to help Yahoo! in the long-run. Bartz said that the Yahoo!’s board is growing impatient due to criticism faced when turning down Microsoft’s lucrative acquisition offer in 2007.

“The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country,” stated Bartz. “Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are.”

After Bostock called Bartz, she was given the option as to whether she wanted to resign or let the board fire her. She learned that Yahoo!’s lawyers went to the St. Regis hotel to hand her papers, but she ditched that hotel and booked herself into another hotel. Then she pulled out her iPad and wrote an e-mail to all 14,000 of Yahoo!’s employees. The e-mail said:

To all,
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.

“I want to make sure that the employees don’t believe that I’ve abandoned them. I would never abandon them,” said Bartz. “I have way too many purple clothes.”