Yahoo’s next CEO? Don’t ask Ross Levinsohn

October 18, 2011

It’s been more than a month since Yahoo fired Carol Bartz as Chief Executive, but there have been few signs indicating who might succeed her.

Ross Levinsohn, the head of Yahoo’s Americas business, is one insider that many think would be a natural choice. But if Levinsohn has any such aspirations, he didn’t let on when he took the stage at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Asked point-blank by moderator John Battelle if he was interested in the top job, Levinsohn embarked on a long, rambling answer that managed to provide little information of value, while not explicitly taking himself out of the running.

“You know what, look, I have an incredible job right now, you’ve heard me say this before. This is the best job — not the easiest job – but the best job I’ve ever had, the biggest opportunity. I’m only focused on creating as much value as we can for our users and our investors. That’s it,” Levinsohn explained.

“All that stuff, honestly, that stuff takes care of itself. The board will figure out what it wants to do with this company.”

The Yahoo board of directors – which has gone through several CEOs over the past five years – doesn’t have the most impressive track record for figuring this kind of thing out, Battelle pointed out.

“Honestly, my job, while complicated, is relatively simple. And I’ve kept my head down for most of my career when it’s popped up,” replied Levinsohn, before launching into another explanation of Yahoo’s many virtues.

And so the mystery continues. Tune in on Tuesday afternoon, when Yahoo reports its quarterly results, to see if the company has anything more to say about its progress looking for a CEO.

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