Yahoo's cursing CEO Carol Bartz is out the door — and just sent staff an email saying she's been fired over the phone. It looks like AOL isn't the only loser tech company with a clusterfuck on its hands this week.
Bartz's departure was first reported by All Things D. Now comes confirmation in a companywide email, obtained by our own Matt Cherette from a Yahoo mole:
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.
Sent from my iPad
Yahoo CFO Tim Morse will fill in for Bartz on an interim basis, according to All Things D, running what at one point was the web's leading collection of sites. It's not precisely clear why Bartz is finished, but Yahoo's sideways stock performance since she took over in January 2009 makes it clear that Yahoo is not among Silicon Valley's small circle of winners. The company has been on the retreat from Google and other tech companies — but especially Google — since painfully nontechnical CEO Terry Semel assumed control of the company in the 2001 dot-com downturn. In 2009, Bartz signed a deal to outsource Yahoo's search engine to Microsoft. Her departure underlines the company's continued flailing.
For people who argue that large chunks of the tech sector constitute winner-take-all markets, this week is shaping up as an important one. Apple is making money, Facebook is making money, Google is making money, and some lower profile companies like Oracle, Cisco and eBay still churn out nice profits. But the ranks of the losers seem to be growing. AOL's already messy Huffington Post merger has erupted into humiliating public pissing match between two top editors. Don't even get us started on the incredible shrinking MySpace, or would be hotshots like Groupon that can't seem to get their act together. If you're not a big winner in tech, you're increasingly likely to be a loser.
(Update: We added in the "Sent from my iPad" tagline after verifying it was in the original.)