Levinsohn Exits Yahoo

by , Jul 31, 2012, 10:04 AM
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As many predicted, longtime Yahoo exec Ross Levinsohn is leaving the company after being passed over for the top job by Marissa Mayer.

“While Mayer might have benefited from Levinsohn’s close ties with key marketing players and his content experience, her intense focus on products and not on media likely means that she will rely on a more tech-heavy leadership team going forward,” AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reports.

“While the move was expected, this could be called the first big blow Mayer has faced since her appointment,” suggests ReadWriteWeb.

“While it's likely that Levinsohn was disappointed in not taking the top job at the company, he didn't give a specific reason for his departure, saying only that ‘it is time for me to look for the next challenge,’” writes The Verge.

“His departure comes just two weeks after Ms. Mayer stepped into the role that Mr. Levinsohn assumed would be his own,” The New York Times’ Dealbook blog writes. “As recently as mid-June, Mr. Levinsohn was interviewing candidates for senior positions at Yahoo and telling them that the role of chief executive would be his.”

“Levinsohn was in a tough political situation, having served as CEO and being seen as a contender for the role, only to be demoted when Mayer’s hiring was announced,” Marketing Land points out.

“For Mayer to succeed in gaining control of the struggling company and remaking it to her exacting standards, she likely needed to fully project to employees and the public alike that this is a new era for Yahoo, and the old leadership is just that -- old and out,” writes VentureBeat.

Still, “Levinsohn's departure leaves Mayer to execute a turnaround at Yahoo, which has failed to keep pace with competitors Google and Facebook Inc. in user and advertising growth,” writes SFGate.com.

“On the advertising side, personnel changes could undo the progress that was starting to show up in display advertising,” paidContent warns. “Levinsohn’s team spearheaded a ad sales alliance with Microsoft and AOL that is still in the early stages; that could wind up derailed.”

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