“She’s the best player in the draft,” said John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems, where Ms. Bartz has served as a board member since 1996. Mr. Chambers said Ms. Bartz often challenged him on strategic decisions, like mergers and acquisitions, to make sure they had been thought through well. And Ms. Bartz is not afraid to speak her mind, he said.
“You always know where she stands,” Mr. Chambers said. “You may not always like it.” Mr. Yang, who is returning to his position of “Chief Yahoo” and remaining on the company’s board, also serves on the Cisco board, and Mr. Chambers predicted the two would work well together. Ms. Bartz also sits on the boards of Intel, along with Ms. Decker, and NetApp, a maker of network storage technology.
Even her new top rival, Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who worked with Ms. Bartz when both of them were senior executives at Sun Microsystems in the 1990s, had words of praise for her. “I have worked with Carol for more than 25 years and she is a superb operating executive,” Mr. Schmidt said in an e-mail. “Yahoo will certainly benefit from her great experience.”