Wed, Aug 01, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Levinsohn looks to leave Yahoo after CEO snub


Yahoo interim chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn, who was snubbed in the search for a permanent leader at the company, is leaving the Internet portal.

Yahoo announced the departure in a securities filing on Monday.

Yahoo appointed 37-year-old Marissa Mayer as chief executive two weeks ago. Retaining Levinsohn, who had been interim head since May, would have been one of her first big triumphs.

Levinsohn’s exit is not unexpected. Yahoo’s stock barely moved in after-hours trading. Following the announcement, it rose US$0.02 to US$16. The stock closed on Monday’s regular session down US$0.13, or less than 1 percent, at US$15.98. Over the last year, Yahoo’s stock has traded at between US$11.09 and US$16.79.

Levinsohn, 48, had been head of Yahoo’s global media business and had pushed the company to enter into exclusive partnerships with the likes of CNBC and Tom Hanks to create original content.

However, Levinsohn was passed over twice by the company’s board in favor of other top executives, including Scott Thompson, who resigned in May over discrepancies on his resume after just four months in the job.

The appointment of Mayer, a former Google top executive who oversaw its e-mail, mapping and news services, suggests the company intends to focus more on the functionality of its products rather than on media content which was Levinsohn’s domain.

Analyst Sameet Sinha with B. Riley & Co, said Levinsohn’s exit did not indicate a big shift in strategy, although a turnaround plan under Mayer is still unclear.

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