The business world would be a lot more fun if every fired CEO responded to the news the way Carol Bartz has. “These people fucked me over,” the former Yahoo chief tells Fortune in a story on the magazine’s website. Bartz says that chairman Roy Bostock dropped the ax in a Tuesday night phone call where he began by reading a statement prepared by a lawyer. “I said, ‘Roy, I think that’s a script,’ ” Bartz said, adding: “‘Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?’ ” When he was done she said, “I got it … I thought you were classier.” Bostock gave her two hours to decide if she would resign or be formally fired, and Bartz learned that Yahoo had sent lawyers to the St. Regis hotel in New York to seal the deal. She avoided them by moving to another hotel — and disclosed the news via email to Yahoo employees.
Bartz says the board put her in a no-win situation. “They want revenue growth, even though they were told that we would not have revenue growth until 2012.” Hired after Yahoo rejected a 2007 acquisition offer from Microsoft, she says “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.” Although she thinks former CFO — and now interim CEO — Tim Morse is “a great guy,” she says she’d still be the best replacement for the long term. “They should bring me in. I knew what to do.” For now, Bartz says that she plans to stay on the Yahoo board. “I want to make sure that the employees don’t believe that I’ve abandoned them. I would never abandon them,” she said. And in a joking reference to the Yahoo logo, she added that “I have way too many purple clothes.”
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