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Yahoo! fires! CEO! Carol! Bartz!

Over the phone

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Carol Bartz is no longer the CEO of Yahoo!, according to a report citing sources at the company, and she has apparently confirmed the news with a brief note to company employees.

The company has not yet responded to a request for comment.

AllThingsD reports that chief financial officer Tim Morse has been tapped to serve as interim CEO, but it says the circumstances surrounding the news are "unclear". It cites unnamed sources, but these sources merely say that the Yahoo! board "seems to have" told Bartz that a change was in order.

This is confirmed by Mashable, which says it has obtained an email Bartz sent to company employees from her iPad. "I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board," the email reads. "It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward."

Yahoo! hired Bartz in January of 2009 to replace co-founder Jerry Yang in the CEO's role. Before joining Yahoo!, she spent 14 years as CEO of Autodesk and three more as the software company's executive chairman, and before Autodesk, she held jobs at Sun, 3M, and Digital.

Bartz replaced Yang after he rejected a $47.5bn takeover bid from Steve Ballmer and Microsoft. In June of 2008, Microsoft offered $33 a share for the popular web portal, and when Bartz came on board, its share price was just over $12.

When Bartz arrived, she significantly reorganized and streamlined operations, and inked a ten-year search partnership with Microsoft. But the company never quite shed the specter of the acquisition that never was. Yahoo!'s second quarter earnings were down five per cent year-on-year, and Yahoo! said that the shortfall was do in part to poor returns from the company's Microsoft partnership. ®

Update

With a press release, Yahoo! has now confirmed that Bartz has been removed as CEO and that Tim Morse has been appointed interim CEO. "The Board sees enormous growth opportunities on which Yahoo! can capitalize, and our primary objective is to leverage the Company's leadership and current business assets and platforms to execute against these opportunities," read a canned statement from chairman of the board Roy Bostock.

"We have talented teams and tremendous resources behind them and intend to return the Company to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation. We are committed to exploring and evaluating possibilities and opportunities that will put Yahoo! on a trajectory for growth and innovation and deliver value to shareholders."

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