Layoffs are a tacit admission that CEO Carol Bartz has failed as a CEO. Brought in by the board, she was supposed to turn the company around. Instead, she has fallen short repeatedly while using cost cutting and stock buybacks as attempts to appease investors. Bartz has failed to find a strategy that can cure Yahoo and instead amputates limbs in hopes of shrinking what needs to be sustained. Maybe what the investors and company actually need is for Bartz to get a pink slip:
- The supposed turnaround of the company has been foundering for nearly two years. It's reasonable to give a new chief executive time to get results. But at some point, it becomes obvious that the person either can't or won't deliver. Whether Bartz's problem is an issue of vision, strategy, or execution doesn't matter. The company is going nowhere.
- Bartz is the wrong type of turnaround executive for Yahoo. Her reaction to everything seems to be cutting costs or placating investors. Both are necessary, but a company needs a compelling vision of what it could be and a strategy to get there. Bartz has shown neither.
- At a minimum, you should be able to expect a CEO to keep his or her mouth shut instead of creating bigger problems by yapping to the press. An occasional gaffe is human. To slip on a regular basis is inexcusable.
- Keeping investors happy is important. Doing so by spending money you don't have on a stock buyback program is reckless. And a good CEO shouldn't be reckless.
- Executives have continued to exit the building about as fast as they could shoulder their way out the front door. When you're turning around an organization, some personnel attrition is necessary. But when the drain continues -- especially when you start losing the very people you brought in to fix things -- it suggests an enormous HR problem that starts at the top of the organization.
- Yahoo Earnings: Still Waiting for CEO Bartz to Turn into Steve Jobs
- CEOs See an Outbreak of Rick Sanchez Syndrome
- More Yahoo Execs Yank the Ripcord: When Does Bartz Soar Into the Blue?
- Yahoo's Carol Bartz Just Doesn't Know When to Shut Up
- Yahoo's Problem: Bartz Is the Wrong Type of Turnaround CEO
- Yahoo's Turnaround Is a 360 Degree Spinout
- Yahoo to Spend $3B on Stock Buy-Back -- and Management Is Nuts.