Carol Bartz is out as the CEO at Yahoo!
, and she was fired over the phone to boot.
According to reports, she sent the following email to Yahoo! employees:
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.
We'd have to say that despite Bartz's failings at bringing Yahoo! back to its former pre-eminent status on the Internet, firing her over the phone was harsh. Notably, Bartz emailed that goodbye note to employees using her iPad.
That said, the investor community was quite happy with the move. In after hours trading, at the time of this writing, Yahoo! stock is up 6.3 percent to $13.72 (it closed on Tuesday at $12.91).
CFO Tim Morse has been named interim CEO, but will continue in his role as CFO, as well. Yahoo! also appointed a new "executive leadership council" to advise Morse during the search for a permanent CEO.
In addition to Morse, the others on the leadership council will be Michael Callahan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Blake Irving, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer; Ross Levinsohn, Executive Vice President, Americas; Rich Riley, Senior Vice President & MD, EMEA Region; and Rose Tsou, Senior Vice President, APAC Region.
According to Yahoo!'s press release, the company's co-founders, David Filo and Jerry Yang, will each continue as Chief Yahoo and will provide counsel to Tim and the Executive Leadership Council.
Counsel is fine, but even Yang was once CEO, just before Bartz. It's difficult to see how Yahoo! can remain relevant on an Internet mostly focused on Google, Facebook, and even Twitter.
That Microsoft deal for $44.6 billion is long gone, and won't be offered again, either. Yahoo! still has a number of properties such as Flickr, Yahoo! Finance, and Yahoo! Sports, that are popular. It's even got a cache of mobile device patents, having applied for or been granted 665 of them in the U.S., which is more than Apple, Verizon, or Google
Although that Microsoft deal is long gone, it might be time for Yahoo! to start shopping its pieces around. Any attempt to bring Yahoo! back to the position it once held, before there was a Google, which is what Bartz tried to do, seems doomed to failure.