Yahoo has added former PayPal executive Max Levchin to its board in a bold move that makes it clearer than ever the Internet pioneer is returning to its roots as a technology company under its new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer.
Brad Smith, chief executive of Intuit, and David Kenny, chief executive of the Weather Channel, are leaving the board, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company said in a statement.
In the last week, Yahoo has updated two flagship products -- email and photo-sharing service Flickr -- to better position the company to take on a fleet of new contenders for the world's eyeballs and ad dollars. A respected technologist, Levchin is expected to help Yahoo develop new products.
He could not be immediately reached for comment.
Levchin is part of the "PayPal Mafia," the mavericks who have turned their riches from selling the company to eBay into golden investments and entrepreneurial endeavors all over Silicon Valley. Levchin was PayPal's chief technology officer. he sold his company Slide to Google and worked for a time for Mayer’s alma mater. He left his position as a vice president of engineering after Google shut down Slide last year.
Levchin is the fourth board member nominated by Daniel Loeb, the activist hedge fund manager who joined Yahoo’s board in May and whose biggest achievement was recruiting Mayer as chief executive. The other directors are media consultant Michael Wolf and turnaround expert Harry Wilson.
Levchin is chairman of the board of Yelp and Kaggle and is a director at Evernote.
"Max is someone I've admired throughout my career for his phenomenal sense for great products and keen focus on user experiences," Mayer said in a statement. "I'm confident that his strong product and technology expertise will be a tremendous asset to Yahoo."