September 12, 2011
Yahoo Forces Bartz To Resign Board Seat
After being dismissed last week, from her position of Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz has announced her resignation from Yahoo´s board of directors.
After being informed of the decision to dismiss her via phone call last Tuesday, Bartz said that she planned to remain on the board of directors for the floundering internet portal company, a statement that conflicted with that of a company spokesman who said she would have to relinquish the seat.
Bartz, not one known for parsing words, gave an inflammatory interview to Fortune magazine in which she characterized Yahoo´s board as “doofuses” who “[expletive] me over”.
Yahoo has been struggling with its mission for several years as the nature of the internet evolves and the former web-portal power player Yahoo has not been able to focus and compel the public to use its services.
Reasons for the top-level shake up at this time are not entirely clear. Some point to China-based Alibaba Group, of which Yahoo owns a 40 percent stake. Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma said on Saturday he was not the reason for the departure of Bartz, AFP reports.
“Over the past couple of days, the Yahoo CEO got fired, but it had nothing to do with me,” Ma said at the beginning of his speech. Ma and Bartz had a difficult relationship exacerbated by Ma´s desire to buy back Yahoo´s stake in his company and Yahoo´s unwillingness to sell.
Alibaba is one of Yahoo´s profit assets but the relationship has been under pressure since earlier this year in a dispute over Alibaba´s online payments platform Alipay.
Alibaba Group includes Taobao, China´s largest online marketplace with more than 800 million product listings and 370 million registered users. Yahoo notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission in May that ownership of Alipay had been shifted to a Chinese firm owned mostly by Ma.
Yahoo said the transfer was done without the knowledge or approval of Alibaba´s board of directors or shareholders. But Ma has insisted that Yahoo was informed of the transfer of ownership and it was done to comply with Chinese licensing regulations.
The two eventually reached an agreement in July under which Alibaba Group will “continue to participate in Alipay´s future financial performance, including a future IPO or other liquidity event”.
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