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PayPal Co-Founder Max Levchin Joins Yahoo Board

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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‘Serial entrepreneur’ says Marissa Mayer’s “ballsy” decision convinced him to join

Yahoo has refreshed its board of directors by appointing “serial entrepreneur and angel investor” Max Levchin to the board, effective immediately.

The PayPal co-founder said he was attracted to the post because of new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s “ballsy decision” to join the struggling Internet giant. Mayer replaced Scott Thompson, who was forced to leave in May after it emerged he had lied on his CV about a non-existent computer science degree.

“I’ve long respected Marissa’s talent and tenacity,” said Levchin. “Her decision to take the top role at Yahoo was a very ballsy move, and when she asked for my help, I was excited about working with her.

“A stronger, fast-growing Yahoo, with its tremendous resources is a massive net-positive for the Silicon Valley ecosystem, the market in general and the US economy.”

Yahoo management shake up

Levchin also revealed there were sentimental reasons for wanting to join the company, saying that he respected the history of Yahoo.

“Yahoo was one of the first true giants created by this amazing new thing, the Web. Before Google or Facebook, before almost everything,” he said.

“Through amazing luck, I was a Computer Science freshman at UIUC (University of Illinois in Champaign – Urbana) in ‘93, which gave me a glimpse into the fantastic future we are now living. Yahoo! showed me that computer geeks can start companies that create that future. I’d love to do my part in helping the company that inspired me.”

“Max is someone I’ve admired throughout my career for his phenomenal sense for great products and keen focus on user experiences,” added Mayer. “I’m confident that his strong product and technology expertise will be a tremendous asset to Yahoo as we work to transform the world’s daily habits.”

As part of the shake up, David Kenny and Brad Smith will step down from the company’s board, leaving the company with 11 directors.

“I’d like to thank David and Brad for their stewardship of the company over the past few years,” said Mayer. “Both David and Brad played critical roles in bringing me to Yahoo, so I’m especially grateful for the opportunity and trust they’ve placed in me.”

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