Yahoo CEO: "I've just been fired over the phone..."

Carol A. Bartz leaves Yahoo in the same style in which she ran the company. Known for her abrasiveness, Bartz sent this email to employees:  Bartz

Hired in January 2009 at Yahoo, Bartz has a history of writing strong emails, such as this one, in which she tells her staff, "...people seem like they're waiting for something. I'm not sure if it's a sugar-low or what, but we need to stop waiting and get moving. Good things do not come to those who wait, they come to those who make things happen."  She is also known for her liberal use of the "F-bomb," as on this quarterly earnings call.

Following Bartz's email to staff, the board chair and Yahoo founders sent an email of their own, announcing the decision and explaining other changes at the company.

Discussion Starters:

  • In Chapter 1 of the text, you read about communication media choices. What is your assessment of the chair of Yahoo's board firing Bartz over the phone? What could be the rationale for terminating her over the phone rather than in person?
  • What is your assessment of Bartz's email to Yahoo employees? Do you consider this appropriate, inappropriate, or something in between?