It was fun while it lasted. In a move that frankly surprised no one, Yahoo has replaced its resume-padding CEO Scott Thompson with interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, whom one presumes has a squeaky-clean CV, some four months after hiring the former.
Who the heck is Ross Levinsohn? Good question. Interestingly, I couldn't find a resume for him online. A search for his LinkedIn profile comes up mysteriously blank, despite this LinkedIn blog entry by Mario Sundar detailing how LinkedIn board member Mark Kvamme hooked up with Levinsohn via his profile. (Quick, somebody alert Kara Swisher at AllThingsD, I think I smell another Yahoogate brewing.)
[ Also on InfoWorld: Yahoo's CEO isn't the only techie caught fibbing, as Cringely details in "Lies, spies, and Wi-Fi: Google fesses up." | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]
What we do know is that Levinsohn apparently negotiated the deal that brought MySpace to News Corp. for $580 million back in 2005, an amount that seemed ridiculous at the time and now merely comes across as insane, given that Murdoch & friends dumped MySpace last year for $35 million. It's nice to know that Yahoo is in good hands because I need things like this to keep Notes From the Field going.
The reaction across the blogosphere?
Discovery News tech blogger Rob Pegoraro tweets: "Who has the longer average tenure: Yahoo CEOs or Spinal Tap drummers?"
I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure the answer goes to the heavy metal stickmen. The good news: No Yahoo CEO has died in a bizarre gardening accident, spontaneously combusted on stage, or choked to death on someone else's vomit. As far as we know.
Kit Eaton, tech writer at Fast Company, asks the money question: "Can anyone explain what it is Yahoo does nowadays?"
I'd be happy to answer that question, Kit. What Yahoo does is change CEOs, sometimes as often as once a year, along with corporate direction and, occasionally, its logo. Also, it lays off people, usually thousands of them at a time. And it kills off the few things it did right, like that iconic neon Yahoo sign, which stood at the western end of San Francisco's Bay Bridge for a dozen years until the company tore it down last December.