Carol Bartz has been replaced as CEO of Yahoo, the company said in a statement today. CFO Tim Morse has been appointed to the post on an interim basis after the company’s board of directors — including chairman Roy Bostock and co-founder Jerry Yang — made the decision to let her go after less than three years on the job. “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board,” she said in a memo sent to staff. “It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.” Yahoo said it would conduct a strategic review aimed at reviving the company’s growth prospects. Yahoo had seemingly begun to lose its way even before Bartz took over for Yang in January 2009, and has been unable to capitalize on Asian investments and kick-start expansion since. The company has been considering all of its options, from making more acquisitions –it is believed to be a bidder for Hulu– to splitting itself into parts. The lack of a clear direction has made Yahoo a head-scratcher for investors frustrated with its lackluster stock performance. The company’s shares were up 6.3% after hours today, but Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang was skeptical. “This news signals that the Yahoo turnaround story remains very much a work in progress. While Yahoo’s stock may react positively to the news, the fundamental challenges remain, namely increased competition in display advertising, mixed usage trends, risk to search RPS (Returns Per Search), a choppy economy, and an uncertain path towards monetizing its Asian asset stakes (China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan),” Wang said.
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