HR Lessons from Yahoo's Recent Termination of Company CEO by Telephone
October 3, 2011

Yahoo writes headlines every day. After all, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web portal connects with its worldwide audience by posting hundreds of headlines every hour, keeping visitors up to date with the latest on everything from breaking international news to the daily horoscope. Recently, though, Yahoo made headlines when the company decided to fire its CEO by telephone.

Termination by phone versus face to face:
When terminating an employee, there are circumstances where the only available option is a phone call rather than an in-person meeting. But those circumstances ought to be rare. The outpouring of publicity prompted by Yahoo's decision to fire Carol Bartz -- and Bartz's public and internal communications after her termination -- demonstrate why a face-to-face meeting is almost always the best way to end an employment relationship.

Sometimes there is no choice but to fire someone... 


Von S. Heinz

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