Snubbed Levinsohn Exits Yahoo

Passed over as permanent CEO at Yahoo, former interim chief Ross Levinsohn is leaving the company, according to a securities filing by Yahoo today. Before the surprise announcement of ex-Google exec Marissa Mayer as CEO two weeks ago, Levinsohn was widely expected to get the top job. Tuesday will be his last day at Yahoo.

During his two-month tenure as interim CEO following the ouster of Scott Thompson, Levinsohn earned praise for a series of moves including settling patent litigation with Facebook and a series of partnerships with media companies including CNBC and Internet music service Spotify. The former Fox Interactive Media head, who lead media and advertising sales efforts at Yahoo under Thompson, is not leaving to take another post at present, according to the AllThingsD blog, which first reported his departure.

But Levinsohn isn't leaving Yahoo empty-handed. Under a severance agreement filed with the SEC after the market close Monday, his package includes an equity award of 67,000  shares restricted stock units and 250,000 stock options. The exercise price of the stock options us $15.80, the July 26 closing price of Yahoo's common stock. Since his employment was terminated "without cause,' Levinsohn was also granted accelerated vesting of those and prior equity awards in the next 12 months, rather than the six months previously stipulated.

He's also due a cash severance benefit equal to his base salary for 12 months, his target annual bonus for 12 months, and a prorated portion of his target annual bonus for 2013, among other benefits.

In a farewell statement to Yahoo employees published in AllThings D, Levinsohn called his time at Yahoo an "incredible journey" but said it was time to look for his next challenge. Yahoo issued its own  statement, saying, "Ross has done a terrific job during his time at Yahoo!. We wish him all the best."

 

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