Former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is leaving Yahoo, Kara Swisher reports.Levinsohn ran Yahoo’s sales, business development, and media divisions.
After Scott Thompson got the boot for lying on his resume, Levinsohn ran the company for a few months.
Many Yahoo insiders, shareholders, advertisers, and industry partners were excited by the prospect of Levinsohn holding the job long term, but Yahoo’s board went out and made a very splashy hire – bringing in a famous ex-Googler, Marissa Mayer.
Now Yahoo is Mayer’s show, and she has a different vision for the company than the one Levinsohn had.
He was going to focus on making it the “world’s premier digital media company;” her goal is to have Yahoo create products that consumers use once a day.
In an email announcing his departure, Levinsohn says:
It has been an incredible journey for me and I could not be prouder of what we accomplished over the past few years helping define Yahoo as a leader in digital media and advertising. Yahoo is an amazing brand and company, and I leave knowing we did all we could to help inform and entertain more than 700 million users each month. Leading this company has been one of the best experiences of my career, but it is time for me to look for the next challenge.
Likewise, Mayer has a memo out:
Subject: Thank You to Ross Levinsohn
I am writing to let you know that Ross Levinsohn will be leaving the company at the end of July.
Ross has been an important and powerful contributor at Yahoo since he joined in 2010. During May and June, Ross stepped into an incredibly tough role as interim CEO and did a terffic job — he really helped keep the company moving, closed important deals, and assembled a very talented team. I am very grateful to Ross for his leadership and work throughout his tenure at Yahoo. His contributions will be missed.
Ross will be in Sunnyvale tomorrow (Tuesday, July 31). Please take the opportunity to drop by and thank him for all he has done for the company. I hope you can join me in wishing Ross well and letting him know how much you’ve appreciated him as a colleague.
The biggest question following Levinsohn’s departure is whether or not his many reports at Yahoo will follow him out the door. Levinsohn loyalists include business development commando Jim Heckman, ad sales chief Wayne Powers, media leader Mickie Rosen, and new monetization boss Michael Barrett.