Guggenheim Hires Yahoo’s Levinsohn as Media Unit CEO
Guggenheim Partners LLC, the $160 billion asset-management firm that owns a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers, hired Ross Levinsohn to oversee a newly formed digital media unit.
Levinsohn, who served as interim chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), will head Guggenheim Digital Media, which will acquire and invest in new media companies, according to a statement today from the the Chicago and New York-based firm. Guggenheim Digital Media will also oversee and operate the Prometheus Global Media assets Guggenheim controls, such as Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter, and further develop Dick Clark Productions, according to the statement.
“GDM has a powerful and competitive portfolio of iconic media assets today, and I look forward to identifying new opportunities for growth as the media and technology industries continue to rapidly evolve,” Levinsohn said in the statement.
In addition to the $2.15 billion purchase of the Dodgers by Guggenheim Baseball Management announced in March, Guggenheim in September agreed to buy Dick Clark Productions, which produces “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and “The Golden Globes,” along with Mandalay Entertainment and Mosaic Media Investment Partners LLC. Guggenheim’s talks to buy three of Deutsche Bank AG’s four money-management units, which would have more than quintupled its assets, fell apart last year.
Levinsohn joined Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo in 2010 as executive vice president of the Americas, before overseeing all aspects of Yahoo’s digital media business. He was named interim CEO in May, a role he held for about two months until Marissa Mayer was named CEO. Under his brief tenure, Levinsohn resolved a patent dispute with Facebook Inc. and worked out the final details of a plan for Chinese e-commerce provider Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to buy back a stake in itself.
Guggenheim’s CEO, Mark Walter, brought in Alan Schwartz, former CEO of Bear Stearns Cos., in 2009 as executive chairman to help the firm expand businesses including full-service investment banking. Last year, Henry Silverman, former chief operating officer of Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), joined as vice chairman to advise on expansion.
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