Maggie Shiels

Yahoo's action heroine

  • Maggie Shiels
  • 13 Jan 09, 22:55 GMT

Carol Bartz is undoubtedly the type of CEO who tells it like it is.

During her conference call regarding her announcement as the new boss of Yahoo she told those listening to give the embattled company some "friggin' breathing room".

Carol BartzA former colleague of hers at Autodesk told the Associated Press that she was known to talk like a sailor and didn't worry too much about how people felt in order to get the job done. She admitted as much when she said she regards herself as a "straight shooter" who is ready to "seize the opportunity".

Proof of her no nonsense approach came when she went on to say that "Yahoo is a company with great assets that frankly could use a little management".

Ouch, Jerry!

Charles Cooper over at CNET described her as "an old-school technology executive who has thrived in crises that would have overwhelmed most of the good old boys she's competed against since the 1970s".

Mr Cooper noted that at the software company Autodesk she "crushed a rebellion of prima donnas" and when the internet revolution happened she rebutted analysts with the quip "You'd be happier if we were selling plastic-wrapped fruit baskets over the internet?"

When she stood down as CEO at Autodesk, revenues had grown from $300m to $1.5bn - a classic yah-boo-sucks to the money men.

Ms Bartz is wasting no time in getting on with business at the Sunnyvale HQ. Straight after her conference call she held a management meeting. Now that would have been an interesting get-together.

She will mark a big change from co-founder Jerry Yang who has been put through the wringer for his management style. Some say it's resulted in the once mighty internet portal lying bloodied and bruised in a dark back alley waiting for an ambulance. Will Ms Bartz bring it back to health?

Kara Swisher at is a big fan: "It's like watching a digital version of 'The Gladiator'."

Silicon Valley, it seems, has a new all-action heroine.



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