Yahoo! has fired Carol Bartz (photo ©Yahoo! Blog) and Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse was named interim CEO. The terse message to her staff says: “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.”.
Carol Bartz became Yahoo! CEO in January 2009 with the task to turn around the company’s situation. Former CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang had rejected Microsoft’s offer to purchase what had been the leading search engine when in Internet terms it was a different geological era.
Carol Bartz had begun a series of measures aimed to improve the situation of Yahoo! with several layoffs and cuts. About a year ago she reached an agreement with Microsoft to use Bing for searches ceasing to be an autonomous search engine.
In March, Yahoo! pulled out of Japanese market and launched the new platform Yahoo! Contributor Network that allows the management of freelance contributions by photographers, writers and directors.
In April this year Yahoo! sold Delicious, the social bookmarking service purchased in 2005 during the company’s period of expansion. At that time Delicious was considered a strategic asset in the company’s business plans but when things started going bad it started becoming a burden. Last year it was decided that if no one had bought Delicious they’d have simply closed the service to at least eliminate its costs.
Despite these and other moves, Yahoo! was left behind by Google also suffering Facebook’s growth. The company seems to need serious innovation to try to fight its competitors but Carol Bartz didn’t seem the right person for the task anymore so firing her became inevitable.
After the news Yahoo! shares went up but now what will be the company’s future? The company’s press release uses typical PR phrases mentioning a reorganization and the intention to explore all opportunities to grow Yahoo! but nothing specific. I honestly don’t see a very bright future for a company that seems in decline.