Yahoo Names Jim Lanzone, Ex-Tinder and CBS Interactive Boss, as CEO

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Yahoo, less than two weeks after officially separating from Verizon, announced digital media veteran Jim Lanzone as its new CEO.

Lanzone, most recently CEO of Tinder and former head of CBS Interactive, will join Yahoo on Sept. 27. He will join the company less than a month after the close of the $5 billion deal to sell Verizon Media (renamed Yahoo) to Apollo Group. Lanzone takes over for former Verizon Media chief Guru Gowrappan, who has been named a senior adviser to Apollo’s private equity business.

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“Jim has a remarkable track record of leading and growing innovative businesses in our industry, and we are thrilled to welcome him on board,” Yahoo chairman and Apollo partner Reed Rayman said in announcing the hire. “We also want to thank Guru for his significant contributions to the company, passing the baton following three consecutive quarters of double-digit growth.”

Lanzone commented: “I am so honored to have the opportunity to lead Yahoo and represent such an iconic portfolio of brands as we enter a transformational new era for the company. I look forward to working with the exceptionally talented Yahoo team, globally, as we create and innovate daily on behalf of our millions of users and advertising partners worldwide.”

Under Apollo’s ownership, Yahoo said, it intends to “invest significantly in the user experience and develop exciting new offerings” across its brand verticals including sports, finance, news and technology. Verizon had spent nearly $10 billion to buy AOL and Yahoo, combining the operations of the two one-time internet powerhouses, but the telco opted to jettison the digital-media group to focus on its 5G wireless business.

Gowrappen, a former Alibaba senior exec who became Verizon Media’s CEO in 2018, said, “Now as a standalone company, Yahoo is well positioned to continue to capitalize on key expansion opportunities and I am confident that Jim, Apollo and the entire Yahoo team will work together seamlessly to build on this momentum.”

Yahoo says it draws nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide across properties including Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Entertainment, AOL, TechCrunch and Engadget. Prior to the sale to Apollo, Verizon Media had divested several brands, including selling HuffPost to BuzzFeed.

Lanzone spent just over a year at Match Group-owned dating app Tinder. With his exit, Match Group promoted Renate Nyborg, who joined Tinder last year as GM of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to take over as CEO. Nyborg, who met her now-husband on Tinder, will become the company’s first female CEO since its 2012 inception.

Before Tinder, Lanzone led the digital operations of CBS as chief digital officer and CEO of CBS Interactive, where from 2011-19 he oversaw the company’s 30-plus digital media brands and led development of the company’s first major streaming services, including CBS All Access (since rebranded Paramount Plus).

Lanzone joined CBS after its 2011 acquisition of Clicker Media, where he was co-founder and CEO. From 2001-08, he served in multiple executive roles at search engine Ask.com, including as CEO after the company’s acquisition by Barry Diller’s IAC. Lanzone is a member of the board of directors of GoPro. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a dual law and MBA degree from Emory University.

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