CBS Interactive Entertainment Head Anthony Soohoo Leaving

Just days after buying Clicker Media and naming its CEO, Jim Lanzone, president of CBS Interactive, succeeding Neil Ashe, the television network’s digital division must now replace its entertainment-division head, as Anthony Soohoo is leaving the company, AllThingsD reported.

Soohoo said in an email to staff that he was planning on leaving before Lanzone’s hire, according to AllThingsD, and CBS Interactive said it has no immediate plans to replace Soohoo.

Much like the Clicker Media transaction, Soohoo joined CBS Interactive in 2007 when it purchased Dotspotter.com, which he founded, AllThingsD reported.

Soohoo spoke with AdAge.com, saying:

I made my decision about eight or nine months ago. At that time, I wanted to finish off a year, but when the news about Neal came out, it made sense for me to stick around until his replacement was found. I had to help the company through fall premieres. The thought was that I could take the company through the fall, but then in the middle of the fourth quarter, Neal’s news came out, and it made it necessary to stay.

My passion is to go back into the startup world. I’m going to take a little time off first, and then I’ll be looking to start something again, from scratch — something in the infrastructure space, but also connected to media.

It’s an exciting time to be in CBS’ position. I don’t think there’s ever been a stronger division to own content. The phrase, “content is king,” is really showing now, and looking at all these distribution opportunities, it’s been unparalleled in the history of media. It’s an important thing for CBS to think about, and I’m sure it’s going to succeed.

From Soohoo’s email to staff, via AllThingsD:

After three rewarding years with CBS, I have decided that it is time for me to pursue the next chapter in my life. In discussions with Leslie and Neil over the past eight months, I made a personal commitment to work through the transition until we had a new leader at CBS Interactive. Now that we have named Jim Lanzone as our new president, the time is right for me to step out and seek my next challenge.

I’ve always embraced the Taoist proverb that the journey is the reward, and to say that we’ve had an amazing journey together is an understatement. I am especially proud of the product innovations and business growth that we have accomplished together. Reflecting on the past three years:

We’ve increased our business unit’s revenue by 700 percent. CBS.com has increased its audience 10 times and jumped from the third-ranked network video site to the to- ranked network property for the past 27 months. We are now one of the top media properties around.

The CBS Audience Network became the fastest-growing network, growing video streams the past year by 206 percent and total minutes spent by 149 percent.

We’ve grown CHOW’s audience by 16 times since 2008 — hitting the big time as a top-10 food site in 2010 and winning the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Web Site Focusing on Food.”

In short, this has been every bit an extraordinary ride, and I thank you for your work in making this experience special for me, both personally and professionally. As I set off back into the entrepreneurial world, I want to extend my sincerest wishes to all of you for continued success.

Dream. Invent. Deliver.