To the chagrin of Yahoo, word was out in nearly real-time on Tuesday, that CEO Carol Bartz had been ousted.
Within minutes of receiving her dismissal over the phone, the two-year-tenured Bartz sent an internal email to staff via her iPad, and what followed was a wildfire of press, particularly on Twitter, as word hit the East Coast around dinner time.
Approximately two hours later, Yahoo did address the "reorganization" with a statement, and named CFO Timothy Morse as interim CEO.
But, the damage had been done. Yahoo was simply not on their A-game, and by Wednesday morning analysts were buzzing about just what exactly the dot-com was thinking. Now there are rumors the company is up for sale.
Yahoo did call an internal meeting to reassure it's employees Wednesday, where Jerry Yang, Yahoo cofounder, reportedly joked that the company hadn't planned on Bartz's email.
With any sort of CEO departure, whether it's on ugly terms or not, corporate communications teams need to have a proactive plan on the shelf, ready to execute, and ultimately alleviate the sense of uncertainty and fear from the affected employees, shareholders, and the public.