Is Carol Bartz Sick of Yahoo Yet?

By Owen Thomas
|  Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009  |  Updated 5:31 PM CDT
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Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is sick of critics.

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Yahoo seems to be kicking Carol Bartz's rear.

The headstrong, profanity-loving CEO missed today's earnings call, leaving her hapless, freshly installed CFO, Timothy Morse, to explain her absence to Wall Street. His story? Bartz  "came down with something."

This after she's had a knee replaced and confessed that Yahoo's problems drove her to hide at home and eat chocolate.

Call it the Yahoo flu -- a malady that upbeat earnings and a $100 million marketing campaign can't cure.

Like a bad head cold, it's something only time will allay. And nine months after Bartz joined the troubled Internet company, it's still in recovery.

Yahoo's third-quarter earnings, announced Tuesday afternoon, show a company that's getting by on cost-cutting, with revenues down 12 percent from the same period last year and flat from the previous quarter.

Perhaps that's acceptable given the economic doldrums. But in comparison to Google -- something else Bartz is sick of -- Yahoo looks downright ill. Google's revenues jumped 7 percent and its net income 27 percent from last year.

Yahoo's shedded its search business in a deal with Microsoft and is focusing on media websites like Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and bubbly celebrity-gossip site OMG. But it still hasn't come up with a formula that clicks with advertisers the way Google's dead-simple keyword ads do.

There must be a way for Yahoo to shake its funk. But Bartz hasn't found it yet. No wonder she's feeling under the weather.

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