Carol Bartz is out as CEO of Yahoo, ending an uneven 30-monthlong tenure. She is being replaced by CFO Tim Morse, who will serve as acting chief executive.
Bartz, an outspoken, often blunt executive was appointed Yahoo CEO on January 13, 2009. She was brought in to succeed co-founder Jerry Yang and return a measure of stability to a company beset by a stockholder rebellion stemming from a controversial rejection of a buyout offer from Microsoft.
The storyline didn't work out as expected as Bartz on Tuesday afternoon became the latest exec to flame out as Yahoo as CEO, a list which also includes Tim Koogle, Terry Semel, and Jerry Yang.
In its official statement, Yahoo thanked Bartz for her service to Yahoo "during a critical time of transition in the Company's history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop." However, the statement came about an hour after Bartz publicized the fact that she had been fired over the phone by board chairman Roy Bostock.
The firing was bad news for Bartz, but the proverbial writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Yahoo has been searching for consistency even while Google and Microsoft Bing have surged in the search engine market. With the stock trading slightly above $12, which is around the same price it was when Bartz arrived on the scene as the new kid on the block, investors have been increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress at Yahoo, which enjoys one of the Internet's most recognizable brands and enjoys huge traffic.
But despite ordering a big reorganization after coming to Yahoo, Bartz was unable to make the company more nimble and regain lost ground to search leader Google. The internal tumult never really settled down and as recently as last month, Yahoo's vp of sales announced her resignation even as Bartz publicly complained Yahoo did not have "enough sales people in front of the big clients." At the time, Bartz linked disappointing earnings in the quarter ended June 30 as a result of a faulty sales reorganization.