The search for the next Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO seems to be entering its final phase, with contest between interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, according to the AllThingsD.
Helping with the recruitment process is the Executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart
Company already had a rough experience with leadership changes last year, with the ousting of two CEOs — Carol Bartz and Scott Thompson, raising questions about the competency of the board.
The recent exit of Scott Thompson can be attributed to the campaign by Third Point hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, where he suggested Thompson might not be acting in the company’s best interest. Loeb also accused Thompson of falsifying his credentials.
Levinsohn is considered as a favorite for the job. The media-savvy exec recently gained popularity over the new and well-regarded sales chief, Michael Barrett, a former Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) employee. Also board members are a bit cautious in appointing a CEO from outside. Levinsohn has been at Yahoo for several years and has a reputation as a media-savvy leader. He is a former News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) top executive and also used to work at HBO.
On the other hand, Killar is also being considered seriously. Killar is credited with building Hulu into a popular video destination.
One more point that board will have to consider is that neither of the two have the experience of running a public company, though both have worked for them.
Other candidates on yahoo list includes, Levinsohn friend and business partner — Jon Miller, former Yahoo exec Dan Rosensweig, who is now CEO of Chegg and a former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews. According to the sources these all have declined for one reason or another
Yahoo has been struggling to find its place in the new digital world dominated by the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Twitter.
As of now it is not certain whether it will be Levinsohn’s media and advertising acumen or Kilar’s exceptional product development and technology credentials. One thing which is sure is that it will be interesting to see how and who will be the choice of the board, as they have to act quick before the annual meeting, which is in one week.
Yahoo is still in mourning over turning down Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s $44 billion takeover offer in 2008. Since the blunder, Yahoo has seen four CEO; Terry Semel, co-founder Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz, and most recently, Scott Thompson.