Jill Nash, the head of communications at Yahoo, is leaving the company. According to AllThingsD, Nash is “spent” after the transition from Terry Semel to Jerry Yang and the roller coaster of MicroHoo. She spent two years at the company, originally coming from The GAP. Arguably she had to manage corp. communications during the company’s toughest PR period to date.
AllThingsD has been a consistent beneficiary of employee leaks, including the one about Nash’s departure, which new CEO Carol Bartz is trying to shut down. Bartz has apparently suggested a cash award to flush out the leakers according to the Wall Street Journal.
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher suggests that to effectively stop the leaking of internal company memos, however, Bartz shouldn’t punish employees or create cash incentives but rather “fix” the company:
(Including, several sources tell me, this week in an internal memo, offering cash rewards to employees who turn in other employees who leak to the press. Bartz has also initiated investigations to stop leaks. All I can say about these tactics–while it might seem reasonable to try to stop the leaking, from a management perspective, and I see why Bartz is focusing on it–is: Yahoo is not a prison and its employees are not snitches and–more to the point–they won’t leak to me if Bartz fixes the company.)
While “fixing” Yahoo is an amorphous concept, good will among employees will help considerably. Bartz needs a careful mix of carrot and stick in changing the culture and imposing more discipline on the rank and file. It’s unlikely that she’ll be able to completely shut down leaking but may be able to slow it to a trickle if she wins their hearts and minds.