WSJ: Bartz Accepts Yahoo!’s CEO Offer

Posted Jan 13, 2009

Carol Bartz, former CEO of Autodesk Inc. has accepted an offer to become CEO of Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).  Sixty year old Bartz will be taking the position that was formerly held by Jerry Yang.  Yang was looking for a CEO to replace him for the last two months.

Some of the issues that Bartz will have to deal with as CEO is market share loss from Google Inc., multiple deals landing on the table that includes the breaking up of Yahoo!, a potential merger with AOL, and a declining stock price.

Bartz is known to be a very tough CEO.  She pushed for professional management practices at Autodesk and tame the culture set by John Walker, founder of the company.  When Bartz stepped up as CEO of Autodesk in the 1990s, the company was bringing in $350 million.  In 2006 when Bartz stepped down, Autodesk was bringing in about $1.6 billion.

Although Bartz has very little experience on the Internet, “Maybe that would be a good thing for Yahoo! right now,” stated Seth O. Harris Jr., an EVP and high tech recruiter at Cook Associates.  Employees may be looking for someone with strong operational experience.  Yang was a bit of an emotional CEO, thus the reason for turning down the Microsoft offer.  And Terry Semel, the CEO before Yang, was too much of a glamorous deal maker.  It’s about time Yahoo! becomes more operational efficient.