The ouster of Carol Bartz certainly came quickly.While Yahoo watchers weren’t exactly surprised when the board fired their CEO, the abrupt timing of the move was a shock.
One of the reasons: The board moved quicker than expected, according to All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher.
She reports that Roy Bostock and the rest of the board were not scheduled to review Bartz’s performance until the end of 2011, but they moved up that timetable. (Her contract ran through 2013.)
The reasons for the decision were many.
They include the board’s feeling that Bartz had not responded to their requests for a credible strategic plan; worries that she would not ever meet annual performance goals, including improving its stock price; upcoming weak third-quarter numbers, which will continue a troublesome downward trend in Yahoo’s key advertising business; and, perhaps most intriguingly, the need to make a move before it was revealed that another activist investor, this time Third Point’s Daniel Loeb, had decided to target Bartz and the Yahoo board.
So Bartz was fired, and the situation got ugly (in part because Bartz, who had “no allies at the company,” was caught unaware.
The move buys the board a little bit of time. But maybe only a month or two. The sharks are circling.
You get the impression Bartz was only the first big piece to fall.
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