Yahoo’s Bartz Stung by Firing, Then Stings Back


The news of the day in the business world is the firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. Her termination, reportedly done over the phone by Yahoo's chairman of the board Roy Bostock, elicited a terse and honest e-mail from Bartz, reading: “To all, 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.”

The Washington Post's Jena McGregor writes a thoughtful analysis of the firing and e-mail in the PostLeadership blog. Bartz's firing brings up issues like CEO candor and gender (Bartz was one of the few high-ranking women in tech, says McGregor), but internal communications also bubbles to the surface. What does this e-mail mean for the 13,000 employees of Yahoo?

They no doubt already have morale issues because the company has struggled mightily. This can lead to more doubt about the company on their part. Should Bartz have been stopped from sending out a blanket note to thousands of employees? What can Yahoo do internally to negate the Bartz statement?


4 Comments

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech 2015Join PR News at the Marriott Marquis in New York on Oct. 5 for the Social Media Summit, where expert communicators will share in-depth case studies from their social efforts. “Taste of Tech,” a unique element of the Summit, will feature partners who “get PR” and can help you make your social initiatives more impactful.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook

PRNews-Crisis-guidebook-180x150-sb

Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

cover5.18

 

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

  • Tom Smith

    We live in an age of transparency. Bartz shouldn’t be stopped from sending an email. Yahoo needs to rethink how they treat their employees. Corporate culture starts at the top and your can’t go any higher than the board of directors. What is the BOD going to do?

    I suggest they engage Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Delivering Happiness as a consultant.

  • Kevin A

    I fail to see anything “Terse” about that simple two sentence goodby. There is nothing that Yahoo exec’s need to absolutly respond to, as it is not negative or shine poorly on the company – other thatn the timing of letting her go was abrupt & not in person. That is how they truthfully chose to operate. Bartzs’ message to her former employees was honest and tactful, nothing more.

  • Ryan M

    This is poor decision making by the Chairman and the Board. Go ahead and fire the CEO, but be prepared to get out in front of the issue and communicate it to the stakeholders – perhaps as you’re making the call, if you choose to be so brash and dismiss over the phone, but don’t let someone else set the tone for such a big piece of news.

  • Ryan M

    This is poor decision making by the Chairman and the Board. Go ahead and fire the CEO, but be prepared to get out in front of the issue and communicate it to the stakeholders – perhaps as you’re making the call, if you choose to be so brash and dismiss over the phone, but don’t let someone else set the tone for such a big piece of news.