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Yahoo chief Scott Thompson steps down, Levinsohn named interim CEO

Ross Levinsohn, who oversees Yahoo's content and advertising services, is taking over as interim CEO after Scott Thompson resigns in an effort to clean up a mess created by an exaggeration about his education.

twitter-logoAssociated Press | May 14, 2012 | Updated 09:29 IST

Yahoo swept out Scott Thompson as CEO on Sunday in an effort to clean up a mess created by an exaggeration about his education that destroyed his credibility as he set out to turnaround the long-troubled Internet company.

Ross Levinsohn, who oversees Yahoo's content and advertising services, is taking over as interim CEO. He becomes the fourth person to run Yahoo in eight months.

Yahoo hired Thompson, the former head of eBay's PayPal, in January to orchestrate a reversal. Though, Yahoo is one of the Internet's most-visited websites, the company has struggled to grow in face of competition from the likes of Google and Facebook. The company's difficulties have irked investors. Thompson took the helm as Yahoo's fourth chief executive in less than five years.

Thompson's abrupt exit after just four months on the job came as part of the latest shake-up on Yahoo's board of directors, which has been in a state of flux for several months.

Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and four other directors who had already announced plans to step down at the company's annual meeting later this year are leaving the board immediately. Three of the spots will be filled by activist hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, a disgruntled shareholder who dropped a bombshell that led to Thompson's departure, and two of his allies, former MTV Networks executive Michael Wolf and turnaround specialist Harry Wilson.

Alfred Amoroso, a veteran technology executive who joined Yahoo's board just three months ago, replaces Bostock as chairman.

The appointment of the new directors ends a potentially disruptive battle with Loeb, who was waging a campaign to gain four seats on the company's board. Loeb wound up settling with three board seats and the satisfaction of ushering out Thompson, who antagonized Loeb in late March by telling him he wasn't qualified for the board.

In a statement issued through Yahoo, Loeb said he is "delighted" to join the Yahoo board and promised to "work collaboratively with our fellow directors."

Yahoo Inc. gave no official explanation for Thompson's departure, but it was clearly tied to inaccuracies that appeared on Thompson's biography on the company's website and in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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