First impression: New Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz strikes me as a no-nonsense, roll-up-your-sleeves, not-afraid-t0-get-dirty, working type of gal. She tells it like it is and doesn't mince words - even on a first-day conference call to introduce her to the reporters and analysts who will be taking down her every word.
Case in point: When asked about a timeline for coming up to speed on the overall business, Bartz replied by saying she wasn't going to put herself in "some crazy timeline" and then added - with a bit of spitfire in her voice - that everyone needs to "give this friggin company some breathing room." In a nutshell, the company has taken a public beating and everyone and his mother has been telling Yahoo what it should or shouldn't be doing.
"That's gonna stop!" she said in a way that mimicked how some parents can get their kids to quit rough-housing with a quick whistle or the snap of a finger.
Bartz said she was first approached in December by the board. Chairman Roy Bostock, who gave Bartz a glowing introduction, said Bartz was the only person who was extended an offer.
In her opening remarks, she acknowledged that many might want her thoughts on the big questions - a search deal? divest some assets? more cost saving opportunities? where is the business headed? what's your vision?
"It would be very presumptuous of me to discuss them publicly on my first day on the job," she said. "So I won't."
The first order of business is getting to know the business and the people - customers, employees, all of them. "Nonsense!" is how she responded to the idea that Yahoo has to be labeled either a media company or a technology company. "I didn't know CAD when I joined Autodesk." What she doesn't know, she said she'll learn. And that involves meeting with the people inside - not just to talk tech but to also hear their thoughts, concerns and even their hopes and dreams for the company.
And with the press conference wrapped up, it was on to the next item on the list: a 3 p.m. manager's meeting, her first.