Carol Bartz Yahoo CEO Nearly 3 Years

March 7, 2012 by staff 

Carol Bartz Yahoo CEO Nearly 3 Years, Carol Ann Bartz (born August 29, 1948) is an American business executive, the former president and CEO of the Internet services company Yahoo!, and former chairman, president, and CEO at architectural and engineering design software company Autodesk.

Bartz was born in Winona, Minnesota. Her mother, Shirley Bartz, died when Carol was eight years old. A few years later, she and her younger brother Jim moved from Minnesota to the home of their grandmother, Alice Schwartz, on a dairy farm near Alma, Wisconsin. In high school, Bartz did well in mathematics, and was also homecoming queen. She began college at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, and subsequently transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1971. While in college, she supported herself as a ccktail waitress. Carol Bartz also has two half brothers and two half sisters all living in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Bartz was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree (2002) from New Jersey Institute of Technology, an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University.

On January 13, 2009, Bartz was named CEO of Yahoo!, the internet services company which operates the fourth most-visited Web domain name in the world, succeeding co-founder Jerry Yang. During a conference call with financialanlysts later in January 2009, she announced her intention to make sure Yahoo! got “some friggin’ breathing room” so the company could “kick some butt.” Rob Hof of Business Week was skeptical that Bartz or anyone else could save the company: “… it’s not yet clear if Bartz can turn Yahoo around no matter how good she may be.”

In May 2009, Reuters reported that she had already “worked through an impressive checklist” at her new company, “upending the organizational structure, replacing executives and cutting costs, including 675 jobs, or 5 percent of the workforce.” Analysts described her efforts as precisely what the company required, but, as reporter Alexei Oreskovic observed:

For Yahoo’s ranks, still shell-shocked from deep cuts in 2008 – including 1,600 axed jobs – the hope that Bartz brings is increasingly mixed with a dose of fear and uncertainty. Yet broad support remains for Bartz despite the tough talk, canceled holiday parties and forced vacations that have come to define her era.

With a new round of job layoffs and the removal of a number of Yahoo! sites, “anxiety within the ranks has been exacerbated by what some say is a growing sense of secrecy”, for which Bartz has a notable reputation: “The informal flow of information once common within the company has come to a halt.” Bartz was also quoted to have said that she would “drop-kick to fcking Mars” employees who leak to the press. Oreskovic quoted a fearful anonymous insider: “We are all sort of wanting to believe in her because we really want to see Yahoo! turned around, but it still doesn’t make it any less scary when you don’t hear about what’s coming up. Everything is on a need-to-know basis.”

At her one year mark at Yahoo in January 2010, Bartz gave herself a “B-” grade for the job done in 2009: “It was a little tougher internally than I think I had anticipated. I did move fast, but this is a big job.” Others in the media, however, rated her job higher given the challenges she had to manage.

When Bartz was hired by Yahoo in early 2009 she was paid an annual base salary of $1 million. She was eligible for an annual 400% bonus and received 5,000,000 shares in addition to an equity grant of $18 million of stock (to compensate for the forfeiture of the value of equity grants and post-employment medical coverage from her previous employer). In 2010 Bartz was named “most overpaid” CEO by proxy voting firm Glass-Lewis when she received $47.2 million in compensation.

On September 6, 2011, Bartz was removed from her position at Yahoo! (via phone call), and CFO Tim Morse was named as Interim CEO of the company. Bartz expressed her desire to remain on the Board of Directors. However, on September 9, 2011, Bartz resigned from the company’s Board of Directors. on January 4, 2012, Yahoo announced that she would be replaced by Scott Thompson.

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