"Fuck," Carol Bartz: A Brief History of Yahoo's Ousted CEO and Bad Words

carol "Fuck," Carol Bartz: A Brief History of Yahoo's Ousted CEO and Bad WordsAs previously noted, now-ousted Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz made quite the name for herself with—among other accomplishments—having a particularly quotable, profane mouth. After her firing Tuesday night, she did not disappoint. It’s an appropriate closer for Ms. Bartz’s tenure at the company.

January 25, 2009, to all Yahoo employees: A threat to “Drop kick them to fucking Mars.”

During Bartz’s first all-company meeting shortly after taking the helm, she threatened any employees who leaked information to the press with a one-way ticket to a far away place, by way of her heels, however stiletto’d.

April 21, 2009, to all Yahoo investors: There’s “nobody fucking doing anything.”

Despite supposedly promising her staff to hold in the curse words, Bartz let one slip out during a conference call as she vented about the lack of productivity in the company.

May 27, 2009, to All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher: “Fuck You.”

The sotto voce Bartz-bomb given to All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher in the lead-up to their public interview at ATD’s 2009 D7 conference was noted by many a journalist. ATD later posted the video under the headline “Carol Bartz, Live and Uncensored.”

May 24, 2010, to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington: “Fuck off.”

Carol Bartz and TechCrunch CEO Michael Arrington made news on the same week last May when she told the journalist-investor to “fuck off” during a public interview at the website’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

September 8, 2011, to Fortune‘s Patricia SellersThese people fucked me over.”

After being fired over the phone on Tuesday night, Bartz took to the press for one last shot at the company, and with it, some barbed language, telling Fortune that Yahoo “fucked me over.” Bartz also gave color to a later call she had with Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock, asking him about the firing: “‘Why don’t you have the balls to tell me yourself?‘”

Wherever Ms. Bartz lands, be it another company or a nice place to retire, her contemporaries will hopefully be tolerant of her language, less the world be deprived of her unique (at least, for the executive of a publicly traded company) public speaking style. Rare is the CEO who fully speaks their mind, even more so those who find such colorful, candid ways to do it.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek


  1. Anonymous says:

    Long live Carol Bartz! She’s a Nixon-level swearer. 

  2. DennyCrane says:

    As someone who is a gold-medal F-bomber around friends and co-workers, I hope we haven’t heard the last of Carol Bartz.

    1. Last Guest at the Table says:

      She is everyone’s hero who possesses a brain! The rest of you can go straight to H***- Oh F**K!

  3. Cicero says:

    Bartz another ding dong INCOMPETENT like Carly F

    1. Cindywills14 says:

      carly saved hp . Now look at hp , making stupid az decision,  what r they thinking?

  4. Jim Bell says:

    I have to ask. Why is this news?  Countless male executives are just as profane and foul-mouthed as Bartz, but I haven’t seen any stories quoting their language.

    Why is it only the women execs who get their private language quoted everywhere? 

    I say it’s because those who make the editorial decisions and write about things like that are “turned on” by women who talk dirty.

    1. PhoneyBaloney says:

      Jim, your pathetic.    People who use this type of language do so because they are trying to compensate for their incompetence.   Part of their problem IS that they think managers are supposed to act like this and since they lack any original ideas of their own the “roleplay”.   Truly effective CEO’s dont even have to raise their voice let alone use this type of profanity.  

      1. Goinghome says:

        Steve Jobs, arguably the most effective CEO of the past 30 years, is known to use profanity in abundance when dealing with morons.

        I have no horse in this particular race, but your position strikes me as insane.

    2. Dr. Douchebag says:

      Usually women with nothing going for them place a scarlet letter on  other women who are smart,successful and great fun to be around. The “Look at me I’m such a Lady” routine is such bullsh#t because if you give the sainted wifey a drink they are the first ones to flip out and run off with the garbage man if he would have her. In this day and age saying the F word is a sign that you have left the house to do  more than get a manicure and buy yourself a pair of sunglasses. To all those “offended little ladies” out there- unofficially on behalf of the very talented Ms. Bartz- Kindly SHUT THE F**K   UP and have another martini because your hubby is probably cheating on you!

  5. DagnyTg says:

    @JimBell-the difference is that Ms. Bartz seemed to have an affinity for the F-bomb in public.  How about some Ivory soap for her?

  6. Norina60 says:

    love it – who cares how she talks in public or private – the kids do not read this anyway – you go girl

  7. Hatchetface says:

    The F word is common even in monasteries. Enough of this speech police BS please. I know too many uptight, language careful sc**ba** who would slit a nuns throat in a minute wearing a peter pan collar or preppy bow tie to get what he or she wanted. Its about actions not language. This article is extremely offensive.

  8. Disisdis says:

    Fuck this smarmy, smug article.