Carol Bartz Wants to Stay on Yahoo’s ‘Doofus’-Filled Board

Or maybe she's just playing dirty

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

Ousted Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz may not have the company's top spot any longer, but that’s not stopping her from hanging on to her seat on the board.

In an interview with Fortune on Wednesday night, Bartz affirmed that she’s still a director on Yahoo’s board, and said that she intends to stay there (despite the fact that she considers her fellow board members “doofuses”). She explained, “I want to make sure that the employees don't believe that I've abandoned them. I would never abandon them.”

She might not have a choice in the matter. Just hours after the Fortune interview was published, a Yahoo board spokesman stated that Bartz would not be able to keep her board seat, saying, “Ms. Bartz is obligated to resign from the board and we expect her to do so.”

Although Bartz’s contract states that “upon any termination of employment, you shall promptly resign from the Board and all officerships, directorships or fiduciary positions with the Company and its affiliates,” she might have some “wiggle room,” corporate governance expert (and former Yahoo movie reviewer) Nell Minow told Reuters. The former CEO could make the argument that she's been elected by the shareholders, which supercedes the contract clause, she said.

But Bartz might not really even care about keeping her directorship, according to Minow. Instead, her comments about wanting to remain on the board might just be a negotiating tactic related to her severance agreements, not proof of her dedication to Yahoo.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: September 9, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT