Here's The Surprise Winner From Marissa Mayer Taking Over Yahoo

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's FaceTim Armstrong, the big winner

When Marissa Mayer took over Yahoo she made it pretty clear she was going to emphasise “mobile,” and “products.”

This is very different than what her immediate predecessor, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn was envisioning for Yahoo. He was thinking Yahoo, with its giant audience, should become a killer digital media company.

He didn’t get the CEO job, though. And speaking on stage at IGNITION today, Levinsohn and his good friend Jon Miller, formerly the chief digital officer at News Corp., said this is a good thing for — surprise! — Tim Armstrong and AOL.

Now that Mayer is taking the company away from media, Miller said it frees AOL to travel down the path of big premium digital content without Yahoo as a massive roadblock. “It’s good for AOL, good for Tim,” said Miller.

AOL has been investing in digital media. If Mayer really veers away from digital media, it could give AOL a clear runway to build a massive digital media company with one less digital competitor.

As for Levinsohn not getting the top job at Yahoo, he couldn’t have been more gracious about it. He said, “I would have loved the job, it’s a great group of people. I don’t have any bad feelings about it … I wish them real success. I believe in what’s there.”

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