Yahoo's chairman of the board fired CEO Carol Bartz yesterday, to the shock of virtually no one, given both Yahoo's troubles and her notorious attitude. Bartz apparently got the news over the phone, and went right to her iPad to dash off a public message about the news. The company's CFO, Tim Morse, has taken over as interim CEO, stewarding a ship that has largely floundered under Bartz.
It's common for CEOs to make headlines, though Bartz often made them for the wrong reasons, to the point where if you saw a story about her, you could almost be sure it was some kind of gaffe. While Yahoo wasn't in the best shape when she took over, the company hasn't really "stabilized" like she wanted, and it doesn't appear much closer to achieving its apparent goal of re-inventing itself as a content provider and distributor, the search-engine wars largely ceded to Google. On top of that, her employees don't think much of her, giving Bartz a dismal 33 percent approval rate, according to Glassdoor.com. (Steve Jobs' rating, by comparison, was 97 percent when he resigned from Apple).
With the benefit of hindsight, the signs were there from the get-go. Bartz admitted that when she came on board she did so reluctantly, ultimately persuaded to take the job by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang. Her lucrative compensation was the topic of much discussion, and her initial statements about her plans for the company were anything but composed.
As time went on, Bartz' failures became more apparent. Her problems as CEO of Yahoo come down to three basic issues:
Kevin Rose has stepped down from Digg, he confirmed Friday evening via Twitter.
"Wow, tons of questions - I'll confine advising Digg/ on the board of directors, & taping Diggnation (as I have been since [CEO Matt Williams] joined)," Rose tweeted.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington originally broke the story. According to Arrington, Rose is leaving Digg to focus on a new startup he's founded. In fact, Rose is closing out a $1 million funding round for the new company.
Rose founded Digg in 2004. However, the last year wasn't exactly smooth sailing for the company. Former CEO Jay Adelson left Digg in April after he and Rose had a falling out, Arrington said. Rose took over the post briefly, until former Amazon exec Matt Williams was hired as Digg's new chief.
But Digg's issues have been more than managerial.At its peak, the link-sharing site had more than 40 million unique monthly visitors. In August, Digg rolled out the somewhat controversial version 4 update. The redesign was intended to curb the overwhelming authority of the dominant power users, but it was immediately hit with bugs and delays, as well as the disdain of some long-time users.
Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, has issued an apology to customers in Japan by way of a YouTube video today. The apology is in relation to a New Years deal that ended up being a catastrophe. Food delivery business Bird Cafe has been featured on Groupon in the past, but the restaurant was overwhelmed by the volume of orders that came with the New Years osechi meal. Many meals were delivered late, while others were on time, but in "terrible condition." Groupon reimbursed all customers for the purchased and apologized in an email, but it's great to see Mason step up and personally apologize on video. Leaders of other companies might take notice--this is how you step up and own a mistake your company made.
Groupon is in the process of educating its merchants on "capacity planning" to avoid similar problems in the future.
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