Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn could still take over full-time
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is one of two leading candidates to become Yahoo’s next CEO, according to several reports.
Ross Levinsohn, who took over as interim CEO in May, is the other frontrunner for the job. He is still seen as the most likely to be named CEO, having been at Yahoo for a few years and been passed over before.
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, recently unimpeachable on matters Yahoo, frames the decision between Levinsohn and Kilar as one of media against product and technology, with the Hulu chief representing the latter.
Spokeswomen for Yahoo and Hulu declined to comment on the CEO hunt.
Levinsohn has already made a few key moves since taking over as interim CEO, naming Google’s Michael Barrett chief revenue officer and striking a deal for the Alibaba Group to repurchase a stake in its own company from Yahoo.
Levinsohn has also continued to build out the company's media offerings, further developing Yahoo as an online video distributor and partnering with companies from CNBC to Spotify.
Kilar, a former Amazon executive, took over Hulu in 2008 and has overseen not just the rapid growth of its user base but the development of Hulu Plus, its paid subscriber service.
Many experts expect a move soon, since Yahoo’s annual board meeting is Thursday. It will be the first meeting since activist shareholder Daniel Loeb helped usher out CEO Scott Thompson and got himself appointed to the board along with Maeva CEO Harry Wilson and former MTV president Michael Wolf.
That was the latest reshuffling in a drawn-out series of them.
Thompson’s departure in May due to a falsified resume was jarring because he had just ascended to the job in January, besting out Levinsohn and other candidates.
He succeeded interim CEO Tim Morse, who had taken over after the board ousted Carol Bartz in September of 2011. Bartz took over in 2009 for Jerry Yang.
All of that instability at the top has made it difficult for Yahoo to establish its identity and grow the company.