Yahoo’s Ross Levinsohn Says Adios

Yahoo’s former interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is leaving the struggling Internet pioneer, the company announced Monday.

And while his departure was largely expected after Yahoo named Marissa Mayer as its permanent CEO two weeks ago, it nonetheless marks yet another round of instability at the embattled company.

Yahoo noted Levinsohn’s departure in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, in which it outlined his compensation arrangements. The company didn’t bother sending out the obligatory note to investors or Yahoo users with a canned statement from Levinsohn, but the former  executive did get the word out.

Here’s a copy of an email Levinsohn sent to friends announcing his departure, which appeared in the New York Times:

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. Yahoo is an amazing brand and company, and I leave knowing we did all we could to help inform and entertain more than 700 million users each month. 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, a veteran media executive, will likely find a number of opportunities presented to him, even though Yahoo’s board passed him up twice as CEO in favor of technologists. Mayer marks the third consecutive IT CEO that Yahoo has hired in less than five years.

Levinsohn, while still interim CEO, had hired former Fox Interactive colleague Michael Barrett as Yahoo’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer. In this role, Barrett is responsible for advertising revenues and global operations at Yahoo.

But with Levinsohn’s departure, it will be interesting to see if Barrett sticks around. One plus point for Yahoo is Barrett formerly worked at Google. And, as we all know, Google is Mayer’s former stomping grounds.

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