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August 02, 2012

Ross Levinsohn Leaves Yahoo

By Daniel Brecht, Contributing Writer

Yahoo Inc.'s Ross Levinsohn, the former interim CEO in charge of business sales, development and media, has left the company. Mr. Levinsohn has announced in an e-mail that he is now out of Yahoo; his last day was on Tuesday, 31 July. Yahoo has given him a farewell, thanking him for being with the company since 2010.

Why did Ross leave? He’s been replaced by Marissa Mayer, the former executive and key spokesperson for Google (News - Alert).

There was no public appearance on his part about him being relieved of the CEO role. However, a Yahoo spokesperson came forward not to explain why the company had let Ross go but to say that he had done a “terrific job” while he was there as a CEO.

Ross Levinsohn may be out of Yahoo, but he leaves the company on a positive note: receiving thank-you messages from those he worked with and collecting Yahoo severance payments, restricted stock units (RSUs), stock options and options to buy shares.

According to many Web sources that speak of Ross Levinsohn departing Yahoo, this situation came as no surprise as it was known that the company had found a new CEO. Since September 2011, Yahoo has been struggling to find the right candidate for the CEO position: Ross was the fourth person to have held that role for Yahoo! He had only held the CEO position since 13 May 2012. It makes one wonder if Yahoo is doomed since the company seems not able to get hold of the right person for the leading role position.

The public knows why Ross Levinsohn has left Yahoo, but what is the reason for the company wanting to replace him, after only a few months, with Marissa Mayer as their top executive? Maybe the hiring of Marissa Mayer, a former engineer, designer and product manager for Google answers this question: She must have been hired to help develop a new range of Yahoo products and to restore the technical aspects of the company. Replacing Ross, a leader in digital media and advertising, with Marissa, a techie, supplies Yahoo consumers the idea that the company is planning an innovative strategy to give them the technological edge in the marketplace.

So what’s next for Ross? Where will he go? No one knows for sure what his current plans are, but his experience as Yahoo’s online media executive will likely open many employment options for him in the future.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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