Carol Bartz likely is enjoying at least a small measure of satisfaction Wednesday knowing that the guy who fired her over the phone -- over the f*%#ing phone! -- last September basically has been forced from the Yahoo board of directors.
Board Chairman Roy Bostock announced in a letter to shareholders Tuesday that he and three other board members -- Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson -- would not stand for re-election at the next shareholders' meeting.
This follows the resignation of board member and company co-founder Jerry Yang three weeks ago and the naming of PayPal President Scott Thompson as chief executive in early January. Not to mention a whole lot of complaining from dissatisfied shareholders that reached a crescendo last year.
It's a long-overdue housecleaning for an Internet pioneer whose stock price and revenue has flat-lined for the past three years as rivals such as Facebook and Google continue to increase online advertising revenue and dominate key market sectors (social and search).
Years of drift under the leadership of the Yahoo board has left the company with many assets (page views) but no real identity. What is Facebook? Social networking. What is Google? Search. What is Yahoo? See?
It's easy to blame Bartz, but she didn't hire herself to be Yahoo CEO. Bostock, Yang and the rest of the board did. And Bartz had no Internet experience! She was CEO of AutoDesk, a company that makes design software for architectural and engineering firms. Hello! This was back in 2009, when, I don't know, maybe it would have been a good idea to put someone with some Internet experience and passing familiarity with social media in charge of Yahoo. I wouldn't be surprised if Bartz three years ago had never heard of Twitter.
Then there was the Microsoft offer in January 2008 to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion, more than 50% higher than Yahoo's market cap at the time and more than twice the company's current value of $19.8 billion. Bostock, Yang and the rest of the board dismissed the offer as insultingly low.
And now we're here, with a new CEO, no coherent strategy, no revenue growth, no interested buyers, no resolution to the Alibaba situation (Alibaba wants to buy Yahoo's stake in itself, worth up to $10 billion) ... just a big, blobby mess.
Which makes Bostock's final comments in his letter to shareholders amusing: "We all take pride in the fact that we are positioning Yahoo! for success in the future."
You're welcome, Yahoo.