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Yahoo issues statement on Bartz firing, announces ‘leadership reorganization’

Yahoo CEO Carol BartzAccording to AllThingsD, Carol Bartz has announced her departure from Yahoo. At the start of today she was the company’s CEO. Not anymore.

AllThingsD managed to get hold of an email from Bartz, sent to Yahoo staff, in which she said she had been fired.

She wrote:

“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.” She had been with the online media company since January 2009.

CFO Tim Morse has taken on the role of CEO in the meantime.

According to reports, Morse informed senior staff at Yahoo on Tuesday afternoon that Bartz was no longer with the company and that the hunt was on for a permanent CEO.

UPDATE:

Yahoo has just released a statement titled: “Yahoo! Announces Leadership Reorganization”.

The statement begins by confirming the news of Bartz’s departure: “Yahoo! Inc., the premier digital media company, today announced a leadership reorganization under which the Board of Directors has appointed Timothy Morse interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Carol Bartz, who has been removed by the Board from her role as Chief Executive Officer.”

It also reports comments made by chairman of the Yahoo board, Roy Bostock: “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Carol for her service to Yahoo! during a critical time of transition in the Company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop.”

Bostock continues: “I would also like to express the Board’s appreciation to Tim and thank him for accepting this important role. We have great confidence in his abilities and in those of the other executives who have been named to the Executive Leadership Council.”

Bartz was brought in to put Yahoo back on track after several years in the doldrums. However, the company continues to struggle, and board members and investors have decided it’s time for a change.

Bartz was chairman of software maker Autodesk for two years before moving to Yahoo, replacing Jerry Yang. Before Autodesk, she spent nine years at Sun Microsystems, rising to the number two position there.

Below is the Yahoo statement in full:

“SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), the premier digital media company, today announced a leadership reorganization under which the Board of Directors has appointed Timothy Morse interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Carol Bartz, who has been removed by the Board from her role as Chief Executive Officer.

The Board has also named key senior Yahoo! executives to a newly formed Executive Leadership Council tasked with supporting Morse in managing the Company’s day-to-day operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as supporting a comprehensive strategic review that the Board has initiated to position the Company for future growth.

Roy Bostock, Chairman of the Yahoo! Board, said, “The Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalize, and our primary objective is to leverage the Company’s leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities. We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders.”

Bostock continued, “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Carol for her service to Yahoo! during a critical time of transition in the Company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop. I would also like to express the Board’s appreciation to Tim and thank him for accepting this important role. We have great confidence in his abilities and in those of the other executives who have been named to the Executive Leadership Council.”

In addition to Morse, who will also continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer of Yahoo!, the Executive Leadership Council will consist of Michael Callahan, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Blake Irving, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer; Ross Levinsohn, Executive Vice President, Americas; Rich Riley, Senior Vice President & MD, EMEA Region; and Rose Tsou, Senior Vice President, APAC Region. The Co-founders of Yahoo!, David Filo and Jerry Yang, will each continue as Chief Yahoo and will provide counsel to Tim and the Executive Leadership Council.

“It is an honor to be selected for this role and lead the Company with this world-class team of executives. I look forward to working with the Executive Leadership Council and the talented employees of Yahoo!, and to partnering with the Board to invest in the organization and continue to drive its ongoing growth plans,” said Tim Morse, Interim Chief Executive Officer.

The Board is commencing a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer and expects to engage the services of a nationally recognized executive search firm to help it identify candidates for the position as expeditiously as possible.”

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