Hiring Google VP Marissa Mayer to be its CEO, Yahoo passed on interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.This surprised a lot of people in the industry who thought Levinsohn would have done an excellent job in the full-time gig thanks to his long-time experience as a deals and sales leader in the new media industry.
One of those people is Marc Andreessen, the Andreessen Horowitz partner who cofounded Netscape and is now the kingmaker in Silicon Valley.
In an exclusive Q&A, Andreessen told us Mayer is an excellent choice for Yahoo, but Levinsohn would have been too.
Andreessen says its clear that Yahoo’s board has decided the company should be “products”-led, not content-led.
“It’s a huge statement on the part of the board that they want the company to be product-led. I say that because they had a great CEO if they wanted to be media-led. It’s a huge double down on product.”
“I don’t think they passed on Ross, I think they decided on the product profile. I think it was a strategy decision not a person decision. If they wanted a content strategy they had a great guy in the job. He would have been great.”
Andreessen says Levinsohn may not have gotten the job, but he’s sitting pretty.
“He’s in the catbird seat right now. They’re either going to pay him a lot of money to stay there or he’s immediately the number one candidate for any other job.”