Kara Swisher

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It's Now Official: Yahoo Hires Ross Levinsohn to Head Key Americas Unit

As BoomTown reported yesterday as likely, Yahoo has finally hired former News Corp. digital exec Ross Levinsohn.

He replaces Hilary Schneider as EVP of the Americas region, the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s most critical unit.

That means Levinsohn will be in charge of both Yahoo’s powerful media properties and also its massive advertising business.

Levinsohn will report directly to CEO Carol Bartz, but will not be primarily located at its Sunnyvale HQ. Instead, he will remain in Los Angeles and work out of the company’s offices in Santa Monica.

One bright note: Bartz has finally hired an exec on her own whose prime expertise is in digital media and not related to enterprise and software.

Giant sigh of relief from ATD HQ, since Levinsohn actually realizes that things need to move a lot faster inside the giant bubble of Yahoo.

Today’s hiring had a few snafus. Levinsohn’s plane to Silicon Valley from his home base in the southland was delayed and he could not sign his contract until just now.

In addition, there had been a number of outstanding negotiating issues that were just resolved earlier this afternoon.

Thus, Levinsohn just signed moments ago and here is the official press release from Yahoo:

Yahoo! Appoints Ross Levinsohn as Executive Vice President of Americas

SUNNYVALE, Calif., October 27, 2010–Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced today that the company has appointed Ross Levinsohn as executive vice president of the Americas region. As one of the direct reports of CEO Carol Bartz, Levinsohn will join the executive staff of Yahoo! in November and will be responsible for the company’s media group, advertising sales, and partnerships for the Americas region.

“Ross has a phenomenal track record of executing digital media strategies that increase user engagement and, most importantly, accelerate topline growth,” said Bartz. “I am confident that Ross’s strategic vision, in addition to his deep industry experience, will allow us to solidify our position as the largest digital media, content and communications business around the globe.”

Levinsohn has long been on the forefront of digital media innovation. Prior to joining Yahoo!, he was the co-founder and managing director of Fuse Capital, an investment and strategic equity management firm focused on investing in and building digital media and communications companies. Levinsohn previously served as the president of News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, where he was responsible for running the day-to-day business, designing the overall strategy and leading investments that helped transform the company into a leader in digital media.

Levinsohn also held senior management positions with AltaVista, an early pioneer and leader in search, CBS Sportsline where he oversaw all content and development for the top rated sports site, and HBO where he launched and oversaw a unit developing new programming and revenue streams.

“Yahoo! is one of the premier Internet companies in the world,” said Levinsohn. “Having this opportunity to work with a group of immensely talented people to enhance Yahoo!’s leadership position is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo