Carol Bartz, who was fired by Yahoo over the phone last week, resigned from Yahoo’s board of directors Friday. She is due to receive a $10 million severance package, but an interview may have violated a non-disparagement clause in her contract.
Here’s a recap of the latest in the ongoing Yahoo/Bartz saga.
Bartz vs. Yahoo’s Board of Directors
Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock told Bartz, who became Yahoo’s CEO in January 2009, that she was being removed last Tuesday. Yahoo figured Bartz would receive her $10.4 million payout of cash and equity, and resign from the board of directors. However, Bartz initially announced her intention to remain on the board.
Then came an interview with Fortune, in which she said of the board, “These people f***ed me over.” Later in the interview, she discussed the botched Yahoo-Microsoft deal, which happened prior to her hiring at Yahoo: "The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country… Now they're trying to show that they're not the doofuses that they are."
She also defended the Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance, saying outsourcing Yahoo search and advertising to Microsoft will help the company long term.
After the interview, Fortune reported that Bartz had a non-disparagement clause in her contract and a “source close to Yahoo” said Bartz had “likely” violated that clause during the interview when she called her fellow board members doofuses.
In what may be the end of this saga, barring another controversial interview filled with disparaging comments about the board’s directors, Yahoo released this statement over the weekend: “On September 9, 2011, Carol Bartz resigned from the Board of Directors of Yahoo! Inc. effective immediately.”
Meanwhile, Third Point LLC, which owns a 5.2 percent stake in Yahoo, wants the entire board to resign, Business Insider reported.
Jerry Yang Trying to Buy Yahoo? Yahoo Not Interested in AOL
At an all-hands meeting in Sunnyvale last week, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said Yahoo is not for sale. Despite this, Yahoo is “preparing to hire investment bankers and other strategic advisory firms,” All Things Digital reported.
“Yahoo’s board also may hire a third large investment bank to complement Allen & Co. and UBS, people familiar with the matter say. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is among the additional banks being considered by Yahoo, according to the people,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
So who will buy Yahoo? Names such as AOL, News Corp., and Microsoft have been mentioned, as has Hong Kong-based Alibaba, as Yahoo owns a nearly 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group. Rumors of a Yahoo-AOL deal are hardly new, but within hours of the report, CNBC reported that there was no interest on Yahoo’s end.
Another interesting rumor would see Yang, who owns 3.63 percent of Yahoo, buying Yahoo. However, Yang will need some investors, as he doesn’t have enough capital.
Whatever happens, for now it seems that Yahoo is prioritizing evaluating a potential sale over searching for a new CEO, the Wall Street Journal reported.