Kara Swisher

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Hulu’s Kilar “Graciously” Bows Out of Yahoo CEO Stakes — Will Yahoo Finally De-Interim Levinsohn?

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is bowing out of the Yahoo CEO sweepstakes.

He has been the main competition to interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn, who now appears to be the last man standing to take on the tough job.

Here’s the decidedly odd statement from a Hulu spokesperson about Kilar’s just-say-no:

“As has been reported, Jason Kilar has been a focus of the Yahoo CEO search committee. He has graciously declined to be considered.”

Well, alrighty then!

That said, Kilar most certainly will also not be staying at Hulu, where he is currently on the way out and where tensions persist with his media-owner partners, including News Corp. and Disney.

Multiple sources all over the ying-yang — they are not even trying to hide it now — said that Kilar has been negotiating his exit from the premium video service.

The Kilar I-did-not-want-the-job-anyway statement — shock of shocks on the timing — comes just as Levinsohn scored a big win this morning with the settlement of a troublesome patent lawsuit with Facebook, which includes a huge expansion of their content and contact deal and also adds a new advertising partnership.

It will be interesting to see if Yahoo’s board now removes the “interim” from Levinsohn’s title and makes him the permanent leader of the company in desperate need of stability.

A search committee of directors has looked at a number of candidates, some quite high profile and many that have been previously asked. But most have turned down the job, for a variety of reasons.

And, now, that list includes Kilar, gracious or not.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post