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Yes, Carol Bartz had a non-disparagement clause

September 8, 2011: 6:28 PM ET

Did ex-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz just forfeit $10 million by calling fellow board members "doofuses"?

FORTUNE -- Fortune today published an explosive interview with Carol Bartz, who on Tuesday was fired as Yahoo CEO after 32 months on the job. In it, she referred to her fellow board members as "doofuses," and said that they "f---ed me over."

The language isn't surprising to anyone who has followed Bartz's career. But even colorful CEOs usually keep such thoughts to themselves in the days after termination, largely to protect lucrative payment packages that come with non-disparagement clauses attached.

So there have been understandable questions as to whether Yahoo (YHOO) actually had tied a muzzle to Bartz's golden parachute.

A source close to the company tells us that Bartz did indeed have a non-disparagement clause in her employment contract, on which there is still around $10 million outstanding.

Moreover, the source suggests that Bartz likely violated that clause with some of her statements to Fortune. If not for the getting f--ked over part, then certainly for the doofuses part. In fact, this could go down as the first time in history that the term "doofus" has cost -- or made -- anyone a substantial amount of money.

[Note: The above reporting should be attributed to Pattie Sellers. But she's on a plane right now, so I'm playing the role of messenger...]

More on Fortune.com:

Yahoo's next CEO? Meet the candidates

Bartz was the best CEO for Yahoo. Maybe

Post-Bartz, Yahoo faces familiar problems

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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