In Language Most CEOs Don’t Use in Public, Carol Bartz, Who Was Dismissed as Yahoo CEO This Week, Tells Fortune Magazine of the Yahoo Board, ‘These people [f-word] me over.’ And in Latest Twist, Yahoo’s Board Chairman’s Job Now Might Be in Jeopardy

Sep 9, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Carol Bartz, who was dismissed from her position as Yahoo’s CEO on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, says of the Yahoo board, "These people [f-word] me over."

Bartz made her explosive remarks in an exclusive interview with Fortune magazine.

According to the article, "On Tuesday, Bartz was in New York, to speak at Citigroup’s (C) technology conference the next day, when she was supposed to call [Yahoo board Chairman Roy] Bostock at 6 p.m. ‘I called him at 6:06,’ she recalls. When he got on the line, she says, he started reading a lawyer’s prepared statement to dismiss her. ‘I said, "Roy, I think that’s a script," adding, "Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?"’ When Bostock finished reading, Bartz didn’t argue — ‘I got it. I got it,’ she told the Yahoo chairman. ‘I thought you were classier,’ she added."

The article continues, saying that Bartz attributes the board’s impatience with her "to the criticism they faced when they turned down a lucrative deal to sell Yahoo to Microsoft in 2007, before she arrived. ‘The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country,’ Bartz says. ‘Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are.’ (Bostock, who is vice chairman of Delta Air Lines (DAL) and on Morgan Stanley’s (MS) board as well as Yahoo’s, declined to comment.)"

The Fortune story later carried this update: "Did this interview just cost Bartz $10 million? Yes, she had a non-disparagement clause …" As TVWeek previously reported, Bartz’s exit payout could amount to about $10, according to Bloomberg.

And in a further twist to this story, Yahoo Chairman Bostock could now be at risk of losing his own job with the company, reports Bloomberg in its latest story about the Bartz dismissal.  

Third Point LLC, a New York investment firm, is urging Bostock and his fellow directors to resign, noting their responsibility for the company’s underperformance, the story says.

"Yahoo’s current board of directors has made a number of decisions that have directly harmed the company and resulted in a stock price far below the company’s intrinsic value,” according to a regulatory filing from Third Point.

Bostock has served as board chairman since early 2008, helping oversee major decisions such as rebuffing Microsoft’s $48.5 billion offer three years ago and recruiting Bartz in 2009, the story points out. Yahoo’s stock has declined 49% since Bostock became chairman, the piece adds.

Bostock didn’t respond to a request for comment, the story says.

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