Updated from 7:55 p.m. ET to reflect the company's announcement.



) -- Carol Bartz is out as chief executive officer of




The company has confirmed earlier reports of the change, saying Bartz was removed by the board effectively immediately and naming Timothy Morse, its chief financial officer, to serve in the CEO role on an interim basis.

The stock rose in after-hours action to $13.68, up 6%, on volume of 18.4 million, according to


. Year-to-date, the stock is down about 20%.

The news was first reported on


, which said the circumstances surrounding Bartz's departure were unclear but cited unnamed sources on the board as saying Chairman Roy Bostock and co-founder and director Jerry Yang had informed Bartz of "the need to make a change."

Further detail on how the leadership change happened wasn't provided by Yahoo but Bostock did thank Bartz for her service to the company in its statement. Yahoo said it's starting a search for Bartz's successor and that it expects to hire an executive search firm to help find potential candidates "as expeditiously as possible."

Yahoo also said it's forming an executive leadership council to support Morse in day-to-day operations until a permanent CEO is named and to support "a comprehensive strategic review that the Board has initiated to position the

company for future growth."

Bartz was under fire for much of her time at Yahoo's helm. She assumed the CEO post in January 2009 after a long tenure at


(ADSK) - Get Report

. Yahoo has seen its business deteriorate as


(GOOG) - Get Report

grew to dominate Internet search and its efforts to establish itself as a content provider have had mixed results.

The company has downsized a number of times in the past few years, and recently endured an embarrassing episode with regard to its investment in


and the monetization of that company's Alipay unit.

Yahoo is also seen as botching the handling of an acquisition offer from


(MSFT) - Get Report

, which made a strong play for the company that started before Bartz was put in charge. The companies eventually reached terms on a 10-year search partnership in July 2009.


Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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