Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has earned a reputation as a strong-willed, no-nonsense executive.
“Personally I have a management philosophy: when you see someone in the kitchen, don’t give them directions. Let them do it,” Ma told Reuters during a visit to New York on Thursday. “I do it my own way. I don’t listen to Yahoo.”
Ma doesn’t need to listen to Yahoo. As part of a 2005 deal, Yahoo has a 40% stake in Alibaba.com, but Yahoo China is Ma’s baby.
When it comes to Yahoo China, Ma says, Yahoo is just a shareholder.
Ma paid a visit to his largest shareholder and met with Bartz during this trip to the U.S., though he would not say what they discussed.