Rohan argues Levinsohn’s background may be an asset. “Ross realizes what Yahoo’s strengths and weaknesses are. I view the goal, and I think so does he, as: ‘Let’s be a really good digital media company.’ Perhaps becoming the best tech company in the world is not something that’s in the cards."
No matter who steps into the CEO role, turning the ship around will be a daunting challenge.
“The Yahoo job requires a full reorganization, and it may require taking the company private,” said Rohan.
The job proved too much for Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, who turned down Yahoo’s offer just this week. Granted, his refusal came soon after the last Yahoo ouster — that of former CEO Scott Thompson, who’s exit was ushered by activist shareholder Daniel Loeb.
This, too, doesn’t seem to faze Rohan. “I love this stock. A company in this much transition, that still produces this cash flow, could be a situation where you really see some upside,” he said.
Rohan has a $21 price target on Yahoo .
If Rohan has one warning for the next chief, it’s this: “If you’re trying to out-social Facebook , or to out-search Google — it’s just not going to work.”
(CNBC.com and Yahoo have a business alliance to share and co-produce editorial content.)
—By CNBC’s Jennifer Leigh Parker
Additional News: Hulu CEO Turns Down Yahoo
Additional Views: The Short List for Yahoo’s Next CEO
CNBC Data Pages:
Jordan Rohan does not personally own shares of Yahoo, but the company is an investment banking client of his firm, Stifel Nicolaus.
Follow Jennifer Leigh Parker on Twitter