Carol Bartz Slams Yahoo's Board: 'These People F--ked Me Over'

9:13 AM PST 09/08/2011 by Lindsay Powers
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"The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country. Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are," she says in her first interview since being fired.

Carol Bartz isn't holding anything back in her first interview since being fired as CEO of Yahoo.

"These people f--ked me over," she fumes to Fortune's Pattie Sellers, referring to the Internet giant's board.

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“The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country. Now they’re trying to show that they’re not the doofuses that they are," she adds.

Bartz called the magazine to break her silence Wednesday night -- about 24 hours after Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock let her go.

She explains how it went down. She had been in New York to speak at Citigroup's technology conference, and was due to call Bostock at 6 p.m.

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"I called him at 6:06," she tells Fortune. Once he picked up, she says he began reading a lawyer's prepared statement.

"I said, 'Roy, I think that's a script. Why don't you have the balls to tell me yourself?'" Bartz says.

After he was done, she said, "I got it. I got it. I thought you were classier."

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She says she had two hours to let the company know whether she would resign or let the board fire her. She consulted her husband, Bill, her son and two daughters and her longtime assistant, Judy Flores, for advice. After she found out Yahoo!'s lawyers were at her NYC hotel, the St. Regis, to hand her papers, she checked out and booked into another.

"Am I stupid?!" she tells Fortune.

Not long after, she sent the concise memo to Yahoo!'s 14,000 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. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward."

Bartz's tenure at Yahoo has been contentious. She has come under fire for failing to improve revenue growth.

"They want revenue growth," says Bartz about the Yahoo board, "even though they were told that we would not have revenue growth until 2012."

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Bartz may be bitter toward Yahoo's board, but she thinks highly of her successor Tim Morse, calling him "a great guy."

When asked who she thinks the board should appoint long-term, she says, "They should bring me in. I knew what to do."

Fortune asks her her next move, and points out she's 63, which causes her to reply, "F--k you, yeah." She says she plans to remain on Yahoo's board.

Her message to her former staff?

"I want to make sure that the employees don't believe that I've abandoned them. I would never abandon them," Bartz says. "I wish the Yahoo people the best, because it's a fantastic franchise."

Not to mention, "I have way too many purple clothes," she adds, referring to the color of the company's logo.

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