Media

Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn expected to stick around indefinitely

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The board of iconic tech company Yahoo is meeting today to discuss keeping interim chief executive Ross Levinsohn in the position permanently, according to an LA Times report that cites an unnamed source familiar with the matter.

Over the last few years, Yahoo has had a bit of a direction problem — meaning it lacked anything resembling a coherent strategy for success. Part of this was due to the game of musical chairs being played with the company’s CEO seat. Yahoo’s board effectively fired its long-time CEO Carol Bartz in September 2011 after board members decided she wasn’t pushing the company forward. That put Yahoo CFO Tim Morse in charge for a short stint. The company’s next appointment to the position was former PayPal President Scott Thompson, but that turned out to be a disastrous move. Not only was Thompson vague in his own strategy, but the company was forced to terminate him after it was discovered he fabricated information on his resume.

Yahoo’s board brought Levinsohn in as an interim CEO back in early May due to his long history of leadership at media companies and knowledge of Yahoo’s inner workings over the last few years. Many believed he was the logical choice to replace Bartz. If he had been handed the role at that time, the move would certainly have helped the company avoid at least six months of embarrassing moments, like fighting with Yahoo’s activist shareholder Third Point.

Levinsohn’s first message to staffers was that they should “focus on the momentum,” rather than the distractions taking place over the last few months. During his short time, the company seems to have become more decisive. It’s made decisions to cut dead-end products and improve its popular services like Flickr and Yahoo Mail. The company has also announced a number of seemingly lucrative syndication/distribution deals involving Yahoo’s status as a web portal, such as those with Spotify and Dailymotion.

Yahoo’s board is expected to make its decision on Levinsohn later today, according to the LA Times report. I’m guessing the board’s move to make a decision on Levinsohn also has something to do with Hulu CEO Jason Kilar officially declining to be considered for the role, as VentureBeat reported last week.

We’re reaching out to Yahoo and will update the post with any new information.

Photo credit: Yahoo/Flickr