Yahoo’s Thompson Resigns; E-Commerce Jobs In Question

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson got the heave-ho from the company’s embattled board of directors, the company announced Sunday. And in his place, Yahoo’s global media guy Ross Levinsohn will take the CEO seat on an interim basis.

The plot took another turn this morning when The Wall Street Journal reported that Thompson told the board last week that he is beginning treatment for thyroid cancer, which influenced his decision to step down.

Levinsohn’s appointment makes total sense, and is the move Yahoo should have taken at the get-go, before it hired Thompson and endured a firestorm of controversy over the padded resume. Levinsohn is a veteran media executive who’s not only familiar with content but also advertising. And as Yahoo-watchers know, advertising is how the content company makes the bulk of its money.

Now What?

This leads us to the issue of e-commerce, data mining and Thompson’s strategy to bulk up another revenue stream for the former Internet darling.

Without Thompson, a.k.a. Mr. PayPal, any commerce-related developers or data mining specialists who were hoping to join the company and help turn it around may want to hold onto their resumes. It’s unclear whether Yahoo would want to keep with its e-commerce and data mining game plan without its e-commerce king.

On the face of it, the e-commerce strategy would be a smart move to try to squeeze money out of Yahoo’s email account holders and users. And that’s not to say under Levinsohn such a plan could not move forward.

You can betcha that Levinsohn and Yahoo’s board, however, would likely screen an e-commerce executive’s credentials very carefully.

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