Yahoo CEO search down to Levinsohn, Hulu's Kilar

Thu Jul 5, 2012 6:20pm EDT
 
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By Nadia Damouni

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The race to become Yahoo Inc's next chief executive appears to have come down to two candidates: current interim CEO Ross Levinsohn and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, Levinsohn and Kilar are the last names left on the Yahoo board's shortlist for permanent CEO of the company.

Yahoo, the once iconic Internet company, has struggled to find its footing in the new digital world dominated by the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

The company has essentially been rudderless since turning down Microsoft's $44 billion takeover offer in 2008. Since that time, Yahoo has plowed through four CEOs in as many years, among them Terry Semel, co-founder Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz, and most recently, Scott Thompson.

Yahoo's board also had on its shortlist Jonathan Miller, currently News Corp's Chief Digital Officer and former CEO of AOL Inc, and wanted to speak with him about the position, but Miller declined to pursue discussions, said a source familiar with his thinking.

According to this source, Miller put the brakes on any talks with Yahoo's board out of respect for his friendship with Levinsohn, who has long wanted to run a company as CEO. Prior to their current positions, Miller and Levinsohn ran an investment firm together named Fuse Capital.

Kilar, however, has no such personal relationship with Levinsohn, which is why he is still on the shortlist.

Executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart is leading the search on behalf of Yahoo.   Continued...

 
The Yahoo! offices are pictured in Santa Monica, California April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni