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Yahoo CEO watch: Levinsohn alone on deck

Ross Levinsohn has been interim CEO of Yahoo for nearly two months while the board conducts a search for the right person to succeed ousted CEO Scott Thompson. That should be ending any day now.


  1. Yahoo and Facebook announcing that they will avoid the patent version of the Hundred Years' War should be enough to seal the deal for interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, credited with the change in strategy, to get the "i" word removed from his title. It should be but the Yahoo board, even with so many new members, is a Yogi Berra kind of group: "You never know." 
  2. It's not often a sitting CEO has the PR department issue a statement about possible employment with another company but that's just what Jason Kilar did Friday when Hulu sent out a statement responding to reports that he was the last candidate standing between Ross Levinsohn and the job of Yahoo CEO:
  3.          "As has been reported, Jason Kilar has been a focus of the Yahoo CEO 
               search committee. He has graciously declined to be considered."
  4. Kilar's statement confirmed what paidContent reported earlier: the Hulu CEO was not in the running. But the wording was murky enough to leave room for speculation: was he a finalist who withdrew? Was he offered the job and didn't take it? Did he ever get to third base? My vote: it never got to offer stage,
  5. The rarity of the statement aside, use of the word "graciously" to describe the person having it sent out rang a little off. (It reminded me of the New York delegate to the Second Continental Congress  in 1776 who constantly abstains "courteously.")
  6. He rang a little odd with others, too:
  7. CNN Money's Dan Primack took it and ran:
  8. Fred Amoroso, who became chairman of the board the day Levinsohn was appointed interim CEO, reportedly told Yahoo employees in May: 
  9. A lot of people inside and out of Yahoo have expected all along that Levinsohn will get the nod since Thompson flamed out.
  10. But the decision to conduct a search left its probable CEO, who was in the running last time when Thompson was hired from eBay and PayPal, open to moves that suggest he might not be the first choice yet again -- that he might only get the job because Kilar didn't want it.. Not an ideal situation.