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Posts Tagged ‘Carol Bartz’

Yahoo’s New CEO Could Use a Good Comms Team


The latest news from Yahoo is its new CEO, former PayPal president Scott Thompson. The company’s last CEO, Carol Bartz, didn’t work out so well. And neither did the one before that. Or the one before that. Yahoo has changed CEOs so many times, it warranted a chart to keep track of it all in today’s Wall Street Journal (available after the jump). As you see in the graph, under Tim Koogle, the company reached a high, but he was ousted when it slumped. Yahoo hasn’t recovered to those high levels.

The WSJ charts the company’s problems over the years, detail about Thompson’s background, and how the company decided to appoint him. It also quotes Thompson, who says he wants Yahoo to be ”one of those great iconic brands.”

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Employee Comms Tip #1: Show Some Respect

Bloomberg says AOL is in discussions with Yahoo to talk about a deal of some sort (that would be an… interesting combination). But we’re still stuck on the way the situation with Carol Bartz played out this week. First they delivered the bad news over the phone. Then she struck back at Yahoo using the “D” word (“doofus”).

“In my opinion, I would never find it appropriate to fire someone over the phone, especially if it was a total surprise,” said Ed Flowers, EVP and MD of DHR International. DHR is an executive search firm that specializes in C-level recruits. And Flowers has over 25 years of HR experience, working with some of the largest companies in the world.

Flowers wasn’t privy to any information about the Yahoo situation other than what was in the news. And, “certainly, the results at Yahoo weren’t good so she probably knew she was in jeopardy to some degree.” But otherwise, a face-to-face meeting of some kind is always the way to go when dealing with these sorts of sensitive employee relations situations.

“Every employee, whether they’re at the lowest level of an operation or the very highest level should be treated with dignity and respect,” Flowers told us.

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Bartz Unleashes the Fury When Talking About How She Was Fired

Photo: Bloomberg

Remember what we said yesterday about not burning any bridges when an employee is fired? Well I guess since she was fired over the phone, Carol Bartz doesn’t give a flying fig about manners.

In a story that she brought to Fortune, Bartz said, “These people fucked me over,” used the word “balls,” as in she wasn’t sure if Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock had any, and said the company’s board of directors are “doofuses.” Oh my. That’s a funny one.

She does have kind words for the company as a whole and interim CEO Tim Morse, so there’s that. And Bartz does have a history of speaking plainly, so you know what you’re getting when you mix it up with her.

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How Not To Fire A CEO

Yahoo unceremoniously dismissed its embattled CEO Carol Bartz yesterday by phone. Anyone who has followed Yahoo (or simply read the business pages) since Bartz took the position in January 2009 knows that it has been a bumpy ride. But firing anyone, let alone the CEO, on a phone call is harsh.

After being fired, Bartz sent this memo: “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.”

Investors responded positively to the news, as did a few people on Twitter. But firing someone, like breaking up, should be done in person.

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Carol Bartz’s Internal Memo Addressing Yahoo Layoffs

Yahoo's Carol Bartz

All Things Digital has published the memo that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has sent to employees about the 600 staff cuts the company made yesterday. We have a copy of the memo after the jump. From an employee communications point of view, what are your thoughts?

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Yahoo To Announce $100M Marketing Campaign Tomorrow


It’s day one of Advertising Week in New York, and so far one of the biggest stories is Yahoo’s plans to announce a $100M marketing campaign Tuesday morning.

In a somewhat rare occurrence, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal published stories on the news over the weekend, although the Journal secured a bit more info, including the campaign’s tagline “It’s You!” and that new ad spots will be created by Ogilvy & Mather. Of course, Kara Swisher of AllThingsD broke the news on September 13th.

Yahoo’s agency of record, Outcast Communications confirmed to PRNewser that they are, “helping with communications around the launch,” but added, “nothing has be announced formally.” Indeed, the formal announcement will come at a press conference tomorrow at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s MIXX Conference, directly after a keynote speech by Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele. Outcast confirmed that both Steele and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz will be present at the press conference.

Yahoo’s New Head of PR: The “Intro” Memo


Remember when Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz offered $1,000 cash rewards to employees who turn in other employees that leak info to the press? As with any organization of Yahoo’s size, keeping a muzzle on all internal info is close to impossible.

Hence the latest leaked memo, of course obtained by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, which is a long intro memo from newly appointed PR head Eric Brown. His first official day on the job was yesterday.

Swisher calls it her “favorite leaked Yahoo internal memo ever…” Brown lays a lot out on the table, from fluffy stuff like his guilty pleasure of “ice cream in bed with the Kindle” to more serious statements such as the following:

My biggest pet peeve: beating around the bush-tell me what you want me to know because I’m not telepathic and say it without a lot of metaphor or subtlety-if you really want me to know something, please make it crystal clear.

Read the full memo here.

Yahoo Names New PR Head


A few weeks ago we asked the question: “Who Will Be Yahoo’s Next VP of Corporate Communications?” This was after current PR head Bradford Williams was let go from the company and a replacement had yet to be named. One commenter said, “Yahoo has hired Heidrick and Struggles in Chicago. They want a young person with Global experience. Minority preferred.”

Of course, the master of reporting Yahoo’s internal workings, Kara Swisher of AllThingsD is the first to have an internal memo announcing former NetApp VP of corporate relations Eric Brown has been named the post. The connection: Yahoo marketing head Elisa Steele used to work with Brown at NetApp and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has served on the company’s board.

You can view the entire memo here, which includes this interesting tidbit that Brown has a “bad habit of eating ice cream in bed while reading my Kindle and surfing the web.”

Who Will Be Yahoo’s Next VP of Corporate Communications?


Bradford Williams, Yahoo’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, left the company in late April, according to The Wall Street Journal. Williams’ LinkedIn profile doesn’t list a new position as of yet, and Yahoo hasn’t made any announcements about a replacement.

Who do you think will get the position? It reports directly to Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele, meaning the new hire, if Yahoo makes one, will be just two steps away from f-bomb dropping, but seemingly popular with shareholders CEO Carol Bartz. Your tips are welcome, anonymity guaranteed.