Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Happy One-Year Anniversary, Carol! Party Today, Because BoomTown's Grading Begins Tomorrow.

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In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz gave herself a “B-minus in her first year.”

The anniversary of her arrival at Yahoo is, in fact, today. (Her first words as CEO at a press conference a year ago? “Yahoooo!” and “Friggin’.”)

In the Bloomberg interview, Bartz was less effusive, saying should have moved faster to reorganize and to strike the online advertising and search partnership with Microsoft (MSFT), even as she noted that the management challenge at Yahoo (YHOO) “was a little tougher internally than I think I had anticipated.”

Predicted Bartz about the Silicon Valley icon: “You’re just going to see Yahoo bloom more.”

That’s nice, especially since BoomTown loves getting pretty-smelling flowers!

But, ever the stickler, it is incumbent on this Yahoo-obsessed column to weigh in on grading too, starting tomorrow and drilling down a lot more specifically on Bartz’s overall performance in 2009.

Thus, I will be looking at five overall areas by which to render the CEO’s marks: Management, financials, product innovation, deal-making and, yes, moxie–or, if you want to be dull, inspirational leadership.

Until then, please enjoy the highlights video below from my most excellent interview with Bartz at the seventh D: All Things Digital conference last May, in which she both touched my knee and cursed me out.

Let me say, Bartz gets an automatic A-plus for that!

And here is the video of the full session, if you’re interested, clocking in at about 49 minutes:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik