Firing via Telephone

Written by Vicki Lauter on . Posted in Retaining Employees

For such a short week an awful lot has happened in the world of business. Stocks have been on a wild ride for the short week and are rallying again. Then there is the firing of Carol Bartz former CEO of Yahoo.

A LOT of news articles and blogs have been written about the firing of Carol Bartz. Everyone has a different angle on why she was fired or should she have been fired and finally one asking is the Yahoo board really to blame. I am personally irritated that the Chairman of the Board of Yahoo, Roy Bostock for firing her via telephone.

I know you are going to tell me to quit my whining. But put yourself in the shoes of the fired person.My opinion is that no matter how bad your company thinks you stink at your job or your performance stinks YOU deserve to be fired in person or counseled in person, NOT via the telephone. What this says to me is that Mr. Bostock didn’t have the guts to look her in the eyes and tell her she was fired. This act alone speaks volumes about the culture and values of Yahoo.

Maxwell Wessell over at the blog on HBR has some good thoughts on his post about the Yahoo board being to blame for the Carol Bartz hiring and firing. And I think he is correct, if it’s up to the board or a committee of people to hire someone you would think they would start at the beginning to determine what type of person they actually need to move the company forward.

You’ve read it here before; I am talking strategic selection or job benchmarking. If the board had a agreed on the competencies, values and behaviors they needed for a CEO to take Yahoo into the next two – ten years they would have had a better chance of getting someone that had the abilities needed for the future Yahoo. And then they could sit back and give the person the time to make those changes happen.

As they say in the Wizard of Oz, start at the beginning then stay on the yellow brick road and you will find your way home and get the CEO of your dreams.

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