Yahoo is about to hire Ross Levinsohn to run its US business, Kara Swisher reports.
That’s fine — Ross is a strong, experienced Internet exec, and he may well be what Yahoo needs to find itself and its mojo again.
But Ross won’t be moving to Sunnyvale when he takes the new job, Kara adds. Instead, he’ll be staying at home in LA.
Sorry, that just doesn’t compute.
Yahoo already tried the CEO-who-lives-in-LA thing (Terry Semel). And we know how that worked out. (A misguided lurch toward becoming an “entertainment” company, followed by a collapse into its current state).
And it’s actually not the “LA” part that’s the real potential insult here: It’s the fact that the company’s US boss might not even be committed enough to the company to move to its headquarters.
Think about that.
This is a multi-billion dollar business with ~10,000 employees and a $20 billion market capitalisation. And its new US head won’t even be excited enough about the opportunity and troops that that he’s willing to move to a few hours north to make it happen?
Sorry, but that’s just depressing.
*UPDATE: OK, after some more consideration, I think I overreacted here. As several readers point out, much of the business that Ross would be overseeing is located in LA. And if you spend most of the week in the Valley or on the road and then fly home for the weekend, it’s not that much different than a long commute. I’d still like to see someone so gung-ho about the opportunity that he’d obviously want to move right next to the mothership, but for the right candidate, the compromise could be worth it.