Ross Levinsohn Leaves Yahoo After Marissa Mayer CEO Hire

Ross Levinsohn was the company's interim CEO for a few months this year and the head of the Americas unit prior to that

Yahoo executive Ross Levinsohn is leaving the company after being passed over for the CEO job a second time, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Levinsohn served as interim CEO until July 16 when Yahoo named Google executive Marissa Mayer its permanent CEO.

Levinsohn had been the presumptive frontrunner, so the Mayer hire led most to believe it was only a matter of time before the former chief of Fox Interactive Media departed.

It was also the second time in less than a year that Levinsohn had been passed over for the top spot.

In January, the Yahoo board hired Scott Thompson as CEO over a field of candidates that included Levinsohn. In an ironic twist of fate, Levinsohn then took over for Thompson in May after the former PayPal CEO was forced to resign due to a fraudulent resume.

"Ross has done a terrific job during his time at Yahoo," the company said in a statement. "We wish him all the best."

Over the past couple of years, Levinsohn has been running Yahoo’s Americas unit, which places him in charge of its media properties and its advertising sales units.

While Yahoo has struggled to define its identity, torn between its tech roots and its strong media business, Levinsohn aggressively built out its media offerings. 

Despite losing users in search and mail, Yahoo has continued to draw huge audiences in areas like sports, finance and news. The company has also made a series of high-profile partnerships with ABC News and CNBC.

Mayer, whose background is as an engineer, is expected to emphasize product and technology, rejuvenating the lagging Internet giant’s core areas.

Levinsohn has made no announcements regarding his future, and it is still unclear what will happen to many of the company's top executives. In particular, there will be speculation about the futures of Michael Barrett, whom Levinsohn hried as the company's chief revenue officer in June, and Mickie Rosen, SVP of Global Media & Commerce.

As part of his severance package, Levinsohn will receive a year's salary, his target annual bonus for 12 months, a prorated portion of his target annual bonus for 2013 and stock options. Yahoo will also cover the "COBRA premiums premiums for continuation of health benefits for up to 12 months."