Bartz, No. 10 in our 2010 MPW rankings, went out with a bang--as my explosive interview with her, F-bombs included, shows. Meanwhile, Krawcheck, BofA's global wealth management chief and No. 24 on our list, exited without a sound.
I know both women well, and it's worth observing that they are, in certain ways, a common type: They're both fierce, sometimes defiant executives who like playing "outsider" inside organizations and proudly take the flak that comes with it. "That is really good," Bartz said of this characterization, when she called me last Wednesday night, 27 hours after getting ousted.
There are more differences, though, between Bartz, who was the tech industry's most powerful woman, and Krawcheck, who was Wall Street's woman on top--and five lessons to take away from their mishaps:
1. If you must fire someone, do it in person. Bartz, who talked to Fortune exclusively, was livid that Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock fired her her over the phone. Last Tuesday, she had arrived in Manhattan for a Citigroup (C) technology conference, and Bostock "was in New York City," she said. "There's no excuse for him not meeting with me." Same day, different style: BofA CEO Brian Moynihan booted Krawcheck in person. Rather than phone her from Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters, he wisely flew to New York.
2. If you hire an "outsider," make sure you can handle the rabblerousing. Yahoo could not--this was a case of a troubled company, an ill-fitting chief, and a board too weak to acknowledge early on that Bartz wasn't right for the turnaround challenge. As for Krawcheck, here was a financial-services star who had made the cover of Fortune as "The Last Honest Analyst" at age 37 when she was heading research firm Sanford Bernstein and the rest of Wall Street was mired in conflict-of-interest scandals. At Citigroup (C), which brought her in to help heal its damaged reputation, she clashed with top management--and was pushed out--over the issue of reimbursing clients for bad investments. Her run at BofA wasn't so acrimonious, but outside Moynihan's inner circle at a shrinking company, she was practically doomed.
3. Speak no evil. As my colleague Dan Primack reported on Friday, Bartz's Yahoo employment contract has a non-disparagement clause. And she put a $10 million pay package at risk by calling the Yahoo directors "doofuses." If she doesn't bash the board again, she may well get her money, it appears.
4. Age matters. Bartz is 63. Krawcheck is 46. Bartz, who resigned from the Yahoo board on Friday, remains Cisco's (CSCO) lead independent director. After heading two major tech companies, Autodesk (ADSK) and Yahoo--there's scant chance she'll run another, she admitted to me last week. Krawcheck, in contrast, has a long runway ahead.
5. Getting fired isn't death, necessarily. Even though Moynihan didn't want Krawcheck in his new lineup, she did a good job rebuilding the bank's wealth management operation, including Merrill Lynch. Key measures--revenues, profits, margins, morale--went up, while attrition went down during her tenure. Some who know her, like bank analyst Dick Bove on CNBC last week, think the main lesson for Krawcheck is to choose her jobs better--and maybe even go back to her roots as an analyst. Won't happen. Krawcheck isn't talking, but I know from previous conversations with her that she loves a big and messy turnaround. Failure doesn't phase her. She'll be back.
by Patricia Sellers
Ted Dimon Sr. started a new job yesterday.
Not just any job. Formerly a broker at Merrill Lynch, Dimon joined the brokerage unit of JPMorgan Chase (JPM). His son happens to be CEO of the parent company.
Word is, Jamie Dimon steered clear of the deal to hire his 78-year-old dad, who arrived with five other Merrill brokers in tow. According to people close to father and son, Ted MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 10, 2009 12:10 PM ET
This was a week of extreme behavior. From embarrassment to enlightenment. We learned that John Thain, ousted by Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis, redecorated his Merrill Lynch office at a cost of more than $1.2 million. People who worked with Thain pre-Merrill tell me that he was not a really extravagant guy. But he was, at times, clueless.
Three people who worked with Thain at the New York Stock MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 30, 2009 8:03 PM ET
"These are extraordinary times. The credit markets literally hit a wall, and nobody lending to consumers or who is in the capital markets is immune."
-- Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis in a conference call with investors Friday morning, following the government announcement that BofA would receive another $20 billion from its Troubled Asset Relief Program.
BofA also gets guarantees on $118 billion of assets backed by soured real-estate loans, MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 16, 2009 6:54 PM ET
This year started off with a bang - at least in terms of coming and goings of powerful people. Which Postcards is largely about.
This week, I told you about Liz Dolan, once Nike's (NKE) global marketing boss, joining Oprah Winfrey to be CMO of her new venture, the OWN cable network. And yesterday, my colleague Jessica Shambora wrote about Ellen Kullman, No. 15 on the Fortune Most Powerful Women list, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 9, 2009 2:56 PM ET
I stopped by BlackRock's (BLK) midtown Manhattan offices on my way to jury duty this morning. Bob Doll, the giant money management firm's vice chairman and chief investment officer for global equities, was giving his annual forecast. "I've been doing this for about 15 years," he told me before he stepped up to the podium.
"This must be your most dire forecast, Bob?" I asked.
"No," he said. "The headlines are going MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 6, 2009 3:06 PM ET
"Clearly, the performance of Merrill's top executives throughout Merrill's abysmal year in no way justifies significant bonuses for its top executives, including the CEO."
-- New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, in a letter to Merrill Lynch's (MER) board of directors, regarding CEO John Thain's request for a $10 million year-end bonus.
It worked. The top brass at Merrill agreed today to forgo bonuses. The money-losing brokerage, whose acquisition by Bank MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Dec 8, 2008 6:18 PM ET
That whopping reduction that Citigroup (C) announced Monday -- 50,000 jobs, representing 20% of its work force -- turns out to be the biggest cut by a corporation in 15 years. So say the job-trackers at Challenger Gray & Christmas. The largest reduction before Citi's: IBM (IBM), which set out to eliminate 60,000 jobs in 1993.
Vikram Pandit's shrinking of Citi -- part of "one of the greatest transformations in history," MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 17, 2008 6:27 PM ET
Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain compares this economic crisis to the one that triggered the Great Depression: Look back to the 1929 period "to see the kind of slowdown we're experiencing now," said Thain -- who sold his firm to Bank of America (BAC) -- at a conference yesterday. Thain's outlook is scary--and marketers are getting his message. Have you noticed how some of the big-brand companies are adjusting to MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Nov 12, 2008 3:20 PM ET
It feels like an earthquake on Wall Street, and Morgan Stanley's (MS) CEO is trying to stay standing. On Monday a week ago, Mack told me, "I'm not thinking about selling the firm. I'm thinking about investing in the firm in a big way." Morgan shares have fallen 58% since, and they're down 18% just today.
Wachovia (WB) CEO Bob Steel phoned Mack yesterday to talk about a possible merger, according MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 18, 2008 3:04 PM ET
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