So Scott Thompson is out, adding to the growing list of CEOs who simply couldn’t hang on to their job at Yahoo. Not only did hedge fund Third Point get the ouster it wanted, it’s also getting three board seats. Adding to Thompson’s woes, the now former CEO revealed the awful news to the board that he has thyroid cancer, which is part of the reason he’s resigning. He had been in the job since January.
Ross Levinsohn (left), the company’s head of global media, is taking the CEO seat on an interim basis. Does anyone want this job?!
On the positive side, shares of Yahoo stock rose with the news that Thompson was leaving the company. On the negative side, this latest changing of the guard doesn’t change anything for the company just yet. It’s still behind the curve from a tech standpoint and its still got troubles with an unpopular patent infringement suit against Facebook.
It will take time to turn around business fortunes entirely, but the company needs to start by offering up stability.
This means bringing in a full-time leader who is controversy-free, a board that isn’t mired in upheaval, and a willingness from everyone to work towards building the company back to prominence. An internal focus on a single goal along with some fresh ideas is point A on a long path to Yahoo’s recovery. Levinsohn is already trying to tackle the internal issues that have been furthered by this latest CEO debacle with a memo to employees.
“Importantly, today’s announcements lay to rest the unfortunate and serious distractions surrounding our senior leadership and the composition of our Board going forward,” the memo says. It goes on to emphasize the progress the company has made and to invite all questions. There will also be a meeting this afternoon.
Here is a press release with all of the leadership changes. And here’s a press release announcing the launch of Genome from Yahoo!, a new tool for marketers. The company does, indeed, need to move forward. And, more than anything, it needs to get its house in order and keep it that way. At least for a little while.