Confirming earlier reports, Yahoo Wednesday named ex-News Corp. digital exec Ross Levinsohn as executive vice president of the Americas region. Levinsohn replaces Hilary Schneider in that key role, giving him responsibility for the company's media group, advertising sales and partnerships.
He will report directly to CEO Carol Bartz, but will be based in Yahoo's Santa Monica office rather than its Silicon Valley headquarters, according to the All Things Digital blog, which first reported Levinsohn's hiring. He previously served as the president of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, where oversaw the unit's day-to-day business and was instrumental in its purchase of MySpace in 2005.
Levinsohn has also held management posts at early Internet portal AltaVista, CBS SportsLine and HBO. Prior to joining Yahoo, he was co-founder and managing director of Fuse Capital, an investment firm focused on digital media and communications companies.
"I am confident that Ross's strategic vision, in addition to his deep industry experience, will allow us to solidify our position as the largest digital media, content and communications business around the globe," said Bartz in a statement. The beleaguered Web portal will count on Levinsohn to help revitalize and expand its content offerings and boost its lackluster financial performance.
But it isn't the first time that Yahoo has turned to a high-profile media figure to help turn things around. The company in 2001 hired former Warner Bros. chairman and co-CEO Terry Semel as CEO and in 2004 brought on ex-ABC Entertainment Group Chairman Lloyd Braun to run the Yahoo Media Group.
Levinsohn's predecessor, Schneider, left Yahoo earlier this month in a high-level management shuffle that also saw the departures of former media group head Jimmy Pitaro and David Ko, who led Yahoo's mobile and audience units. Pitaro left to co-head Disney's interactive group while Ko went to lead the mobile business social game company Zynga.