Top Yahoo exec quits

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iol scitech july 31 Ross Levinsohn REUTERS File photo: Ex-Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn and his wife Nicole Levinsohn.

San Francisco - Yahoo! on Monday announced the departure of Ross Levinsohn, who served as interim chief executive and was seen as a favourite for the top job before the firm named Marissa Meyer to the post.

Regulatory documents indicated Levinsohn would leave with an “equity award” including 67,000 restricted stock units and 250,000 stock options. He will also get severance benefits for termination “without cause.”

The total value of his package was not immediately clear but it was likely to be worth several million dollars, news reports said.

“Ross has done a terrific job during his time at Yahoo!,” a company spokesperson said. “We wish him all the best.”

Levinsohn took the helm at Yahoo! in May after Scott Thompson was ousted as CEO over an inflated resume.

Because of his strong media background, Levinsohn had been reported to be in line for the job of CEO before the surprise announcement on July 16 naming 37-year-old Marissa Mayer, a key Google team member, to the job.

The Dow Jones website AllThingsD showed an email from Mayer, said to be confidential, in which she announced Levinsohn's departure “at the end of July.”

“Ross has been an important and powerful contributor at Yahoo since he joined in 2010,” the email said.

“I am very grateful to Ross for his leadership and work throughout his tenure at Yahoo. His contributions will be missed.” - Sapa-AFP

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