Struggling Internet giant Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO: Quote) said in a regulatory filing on Monday that Ross Levinsohn has decided to leave the company, effective Tuesday, after he was overlooked for the top job. Levinsohn was seen as a strong internal candidate for the permanent role of leading Yahoo.
"I wanted to let you know that my time at Yahoo has come to an end. It has been an incredible journey for me and I could not be prouder of what we accomplished over the past few years helping define Yahoo as a leader in digital media and advertising," Levinsohn said in a released statement.
"Leading this company has been one of the best experiences of my career, but it is time for me to look for the next challenge," Levinsohn added.
This is the second time that Levinsohn has been snubbed. The company's board had overlooked him while appointing PayPal's President Scott Thompson to the position in January. Thompson left the company in May after he was found to have misstated his academic credentials.
In many ways, Levinsohn was forced to resign as he had made known his liking for the top job and was largely expected to leave if he was not named to the post. He was also reportedly kept in the dark about the appointment of Mayer until the last few hours prior to the public announcement.
Levinsohn served as the interim CEO and President of Yahoo for a two-month period after Yahoo fired CEO Scott Thompson in mid-May and until the surprise appointment of long time Google, Inc. (GOOG) executive Marissa Mayer to the post in mid-July.
Levinsohn was the the company's global media division chief since he joined Yahoo in October 2010 until he was named as interim CEO. He also headed the Americas region, which included Yahoo key businesses, its media and advertising sales divisions.
Levinsohn came to Yahoo from Fuse Capital, which funds digital media and communication startups. He also had small stints at News Corp.'s (NWSA) Fox Interactive Media Group, Saatchi and Saatchi, CBS Sportsline, HBO and AltaVista Network.
Mayer is the fifth CEO in as many years at Yahoo since the the mishandling of the failed negotiations with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2008.
According to a severance agreement, Levinsohn receive a cash severance equal to his base salary, annual bonus for 2012 months and a portion of his bonus for 2013.
Yahoo also awarded Levinsohn 67,000 restricted stock units, worth about $1 million, and 250,000 stock options with an exercise price of $15.80 per share to compensate for the additional duties and services he performed as the interim CEO and President of Yahoo.
YHOO closed Monday's regular trading session at $15.98, down $0.13 or 0.81% on a volume of 10.19 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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