Breaking up is hard to do for recently fired Yahoo! boss Carol Bartz, who learned she had been sacked via a telephone call from the company's chairman Roy Bostock.
It could have been worse: instead of being paid $10m to leave quietly after failing to fix Yahoo!'s ailing business, the firm could easily have dumped Bartz via a text message, for example.
But she took the news very badly, unleashed some swears in an interview with Fortune and now appears to have lost that $10m settlement, because it had a non-disparagement clause. Ouch.
When Bostock called Bartz – who was hired by the firm in January 2009 – to tell her she was out, he began reading a prepared lawyer's statement.
"Why don't you have the balls to tell me yourself?" she asked him.
She told Bostock that she thought he was "classier". Bartz went on to claim that the Yahoo! board "fucked me over".
The sacked CEO said the board wanted revenue growth, even though Bartz had told Yahoo! not to expect such a turnaround on sales until 2012 at the earliest.
She claimed that a search deal struck with Microsoft during her tenure would eventually help long-term growth at Yahoo!
Over the past few quarters she has blamed MS for putting a dent in Yahoo!'s revenue.
Apparently the board ran out of patience with Bartz.
She told Fortune that Yahoo!'s decision – under then CEO Jerry Yang – to turn down a buyout bid from Microsoft in 2008 had damaged the board's reputation.
"The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country," she said. "Now they're trying to show that they're not the doofuses that they are."
And, according to this story – which cites sources close to Yahoo! – that comment may just have cost Bartz $10m for violating the terms of the agreement in her employment contract. ®