Carol Bartz fired as Yahoo CEO over the phone

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Carol Bartz

Carol Bartz, the now former CEO of Yahoo (Image: Yahoo)

Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz, who took over three years ago from founder Jerry Yang, has been sacked “effective immediatelty” as the company continues to struggle from rivals Google, Microsoft’s Bing and AOL.

Bartz was made CEO in 2009 after Yang’s poor handling of a substantial bid from Microsoft – believing it was too low. She will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse, until someone is found to be their permanent chief executive.

She was reportedly fired on the phone by Chairman Roy Bostock.

“I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board,” she wrote in an email to all staff. “It has been my pleasure to work with all of you, and I wish you only the best going forward.”

According to VentureBeat, Bartz, seen as a saviour to Yahoo in 2008, has been very unpopular with employees – with a survey from Glassdoor showing that two thirds had no confidence in her; and evidence on Twitter from former and current Yahoo employees. When she was first installed, she had an approval rating of 90 percent. Under her tenure, however, she has shut or sold off several properties that were underpeforming including GeoCities and Delicious, and axed thousands of jobs.

In addition, she recently pulled Yahoo from the search business – which was their bread and butter – and replaced it with using technology from Microsoft’s Bing. Bing has since taken over Yahoo to become second-most used search engine – a very big feat for Microsoft after MSN and Windows Live Search have failed to overtake the faltering company.

The big question is now who will replace Bartz and actually help Yahoo improve its standing. The company’s biggest asset is now content production – but even that, it remains behind AOL (who bought the Huffington Post in order to strength its own strong lineup of content) and other providers. However, it still lacks direction as it tries to be so many things, like it used to.

The new CEO will have to set a direction, and fast before Yahoo either collapses or faces a takeover bid.

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