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New Yahoo! CEO a no-nonsense Silicon Valley veteran

by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 13, 2009
Carol Bartz, named on Tuesday to head struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo!, is a no-nonsense Silicon Valley veteran who turned Autodesk into a software powerhouse.

Bartz, 60, served as chairman, president and chief executive of Autodesk from 1992 to April 2006, when she became executive chairman of the company, which is based in San Rafael, California, and has some 7,000 employees.

The 2D and 3D design software firm grew from 285 million dollars a year when Bartz took over to 1.52 billion dollars a year in 2006, when she stepped aside as CEO.

Before joining Autodesk, Bartz, a member of President George W. Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, worked at Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corp. and 3M Corp.

A University of Wisconsin graduate with an honors degree in computer science, Bartz also holds honorary degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and William Woods University.

She has long been one of the most visible women in Silicon Valley.

In 2005, she was named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Fortune magazine and one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Wall Street Journal. That same year, Barron's named her one of "The World's 30 Most Respected CEOs."

Yahoo! chairman Roy Bostock described Bartz as a "seasoned, decisive and highly-regarded executive."

"Carol has an impeccable track record of leadership and success in the technology industry," he told analysts following Bartz's appointment to replace Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang as CEO of the company.

"She has a very firm understanding of the challenges facing our industry and a strong reputation in operations with a decisive leadership style."

Bartz displayed just how much that description fits as she took the microphone from Bostock.

"Those who know me know that I am a straight-shooter," she said. "This is a big, complex company.

"Let's give this company some frigging breathing room. It's been too crazy with everyone on the outside telling Yahoo! what it should and shouldn't do and what is best for them, and that is going to stop," she added.

"My focus is on turning this company around. I would not be here if I didn't think these objectives were achievable."

Analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley said Bartz would have her work cut out for her at Yahoo! but may have the personality for the job.

"In a difficulty range of 1 to 10, this is an 11," Enderle said. "This could be a career killer.

"On the other hand, someone like Bartz who has never done this before might have the optimism to actually succeed. She won't have the deck stacked against her in her own mind," he added.

Bartz will be replacing Yang, who earned the ire of many Yahoo! shareholders last year for rejecting a 47-billion-dollar takeover offer from Microsoft. Yahoo!'s share price has lost half its value over the past year.

On Tuesday, Bartz said she understands people want to know whether Yahoo! will sell its search business to Microsoft but she said she wasn't going to comment yet.

"Believe me, I have a lot of ideas on these subjects, but it would be very presumptuous of me to discuss them in public on my first day on the job," she said.

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Experience High-Speed Data Communications With ThurayaIP
Abu Dhabi (SPX) Jan 14, 2009
Several officials and representatives from the media, government and oil and gas sectors in Abu Dhabi participated in a Corporate Day organised by Thuraya this morning to demonstrate the capabilities and features of its latest powerful high-speed data communication service "ThurayaIP".

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