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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