Yahoo’s revolving door CEO position claims another
At the beginning of the year, Yahoo! hired former PayPal President Scott Thompson to be its CEO, replacing Carol Bartz. Last week, a board member brought to light, very publicly, an inaccuracy on Thompson’s resume. He claimed to hold a computer science degree but the college he attended did not start offering CS degrees until a few years after he had graduated. The investor, Daniel Loeb, bringing the complaint to the board is one of Yahoo’s largest shareholders with a 5.8% stake through his Third Point LLC.
In response, the Board of Directors formed a special committee to review the CEO’s academic credentials. The committee retained its own lawyers and began to review the manner on behalf of shareholders. On Sunday, it was announced that Scott Thompson had left the company. Yahoo appointed Fred Amoroso as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO.
Ross Levinsohn is interim Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo!. He is also executive vice president and head of global media for Yahoo!. In that role, he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s digital media business, including the vision, strategy, product, partnerships, engineering, and content creation for Yahoo!’s marquee properties and content experiences globally.
Prior to his current role, Levinsohn was EVP of Yahoo!’s Americas region, overseeing the company’s North, Central, and South American business including advertising sales, partnerships, and content.
Levinsohn has long been on the forefront of digital media innovation. He previously served as the President of News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations, strategy and acquisitions that helped transform the company into a leader in digital media. He also held senior management positions with AltaVista, an early pioneer and leader in search, CBS Sportsline where he oversaw all content and development for the top rated sports site, and HBO where he launched and oversaw a unit developing new programming and revenue streams. Levinsohn also was the co-founder and managing director of Fuse Capital, an investment and strategic equity management firm focused on investing in and building digital media and communications companies.
Levinsohn sits on the board of Freedom Communications and the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The American University.
Also amongst the fall-out from this exchange, Third Point received three positions on the board of Directors in settlement of a pending proxy contest.