Friday, January 16, 2009

New Yahoo! CEO's first speech dissected

This morning's New York Times looks at Carol Bartz, newly appointed CEO of Yahoo!, and her first appearance before investors and reporters earlier this week, and immediately notes comparisons with her predecessor, who was male and soft-spoken. Terming her speech "decisive," the Times noted her direct style is a plus:
Ms. Bartz is likely to shake up Yahoo with a mix of candor and toughness, which many insiders say Yahoo has badly needed.
Even after she became a CEO at Autodesk, which makes design software, Bartz experienced subtle and not-so-subtle digs as a senior woman. The article notes a situation she faced that many women can relate to:
In an article she wrote for Forbes in 1997, Ms. Bartz recounted a meeting of technology executives, which included Bill Gates, with senators in Washington. “A senator turned to me and asked, ‘So how are we going to start the meeting?’ He thought I must be the moderator. It’s annoying. I don’t have time to change these guys, but when it’s ridiculous, I call them on it.”
And that happened when she was a CEO. I'll enjoy watching this no-nonsense style as Bartz moves forward. (Photo of Bartz at an employee meeting by yodelanecdotal from Flickr.)

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