Bartz Might be out at Yahoo — But Does She Really Deserve the Boot?
5:39 pm, May 31st | by Amy Tennery
Bartz, the sharp-tongued exec, who famously took down Michael Arrington at last year’s Disrupt conference, had been the target of replacement rumors about two weeks ago, before sources ran to her defense — and Forbes — arguing that the Yahoo board is still on her side. Of course, the issue didn’t end there.
The gossip has bubbled up again today, with Business Insider reporting that Yahoo still wants to replace her but can’t find anyone it likes enough just yet. Somehow, that seems almost worse — like being asked to prom only because your date had no other options.
So what will happen next? Well, according to Business Insider, the board is planning to let Bartz peter out at the company, keeping her on board till her contract runs out in 2012. Way to remove the bandaid slowly, Yahoo.
But does Bartz deserve to get the boot?
Admittedly her negotiations with Alibaba Group, the Chinese search engine company that’s 43-percent owned by Yahoo, according to Reuters, have been far from slick. And (as the Reuters piece also points out) few have been thrilled with Yahoo’s performance since she took the helm in 2009.
Still — does she deserve jeers like this one from Forbes’ Eric Jackson a few days ago?
Carol is not adept at describing what is going on within her company. I don’t know if it’s because she’s never worked at an Internet company before, whether it’s because she’s older, or some other reason. But she’s just not that convincing with the details about what’s going on.
Okay, hold up. “Older”? Okay, Bartz is 62. Are we really going to start claiming that 62-year-olds can’t handle large, technical decisions? Because, if so, we need to start reconsidering how we select major state and federal officials. Seems a little harsh, no?
Of course, that being said, Jackson is hardly alone in his critique.
On Saturday, Barron’s gave Yahoo’s stock a dismal outlook, declaring that there is “little reason to own Yahoo now,” as “Bartz so far has been unable to deliver” with improvements to the company’s internet search engine business.