A Rough Start in Life:
Ill-equipped to raise his family alone, Bartz's father was heavy-handed and used a belt for discipline.
Bartz married Bill Marr and together they have three children.
Bartz’s High School Years :
During high school Bartz was made homecoming queen and was a majorette. But Bartz was already breaking down gender barriers when she became one of only two girls in her school to take physics and advanced algebra classes.
Her College Education:
To supplement her scholarship, Bartz worked in the college cafeteria; a humbling experience as most of her classmates came from affluent families.
She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin while working as a cocktail waitress and earned a BA in Computer Science in 1971.
Bartz Quits 3M After Suffering Discrimination on the Job:
Her decision to leave 3M was not an admission of defeat; quite the opposite. Bartz knew she was capable of accomplishing bigger and better things and if 3M was not interested in offering her growth opportunities, she would find them elsewhere.
And, she did.
During her impressive 14-year reign as CEO, she turned Autodesk into a software giant earning more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue in 2008.
Her Battle With Breast Cancer:
But Bartz has different advice for other women; "Please tell people that when doctors say it takes six weeks to recover, you shouldn't go back to work after four," she says. "Missing work those two weeks wouldn't have killed anybody. And it was really tough on me. I should have stayed home."
Bartz's Plans for Yahoo to Kick Ass Again:
Bartz leads with a consumer-based vision: "Who wants innovation for innovation's sake if it doesn't make your life easier, more efficient, more productive? So expect us to hear you better and take better care of you."
The blog post is worth studying as it gives valuable insight into how Bartz approaches problems, values customers and employees, and is able to see the big picture from the outside and inside.
Update: In September 2011, Carol Bartz was fired by Yahoo!
Carol Bartz - 60 and Going Strong:
Carol Bartz does not mince words and is well-known for her quick comebacks, direct approach to problem solving, and calculated risk-taking. Despite making many personal sacrifices to pursue a high-powered career, Bartz treasures her family, and remains passionate about gardening, one of the few "down time" luxuries she affords herself.
Throughout her life she has faced multiple personal and professional challenges including blatant gender discrimination but refuses to play the role of victim and give in to circumstances. By sheer will and determination, Bartz began shaping her life's path from an early age. She has taken the business world by surprise and force. A self-made woman entrepreneur, Bartz is still breaking barriers today even as she enters into her 60s.
In her own inspiring words one of the keys to her success resonates with the boldness of a true champion for women: "Most people assume that because I'm a woman, I'm someone who's standing behind a leader, a man." But she adds, "The fact that they're unenlightened is their problem, not mine."
- Martha Mendoza. More Magazine. "The World According to Carol Bartz."
- Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Blog Post: "Getting Our House in Order."
UPDATE: On September 6, 2011, Bartz was fired as CEO from Yahoo!