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Two-horse! race! to! seize! Yahoo! poisoned! chalice!

Stand-in boss Levinsohn versus Hulu head Kilar

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Yahoo! is expected to make interim CEO Ross Levinsohn's role permanent or snag Hulu.com boss Jason Kilar as its new chief executive.

The rumour mill is working overtime on speculation over who will head up the struggling web firm: people close to the company have blabbed that it's now a two-horse race.

"It’s pretty much a choice between picking a media exec or a product exec,” one person whispered to AllThingsD. “It’s about defining what Yahoo! is going to be."

Video website boss Kilar is a serious candidate for the job, but Levinsohn is the favourite, one source mentioned to Reuters. Yet another insider told the LA Times that the Yahoo! board had yet to be presented with a list of finalists.

The shortlist apparently used to include News Corp's chief digital officer and ex-AOL CEO Jonathan Miller, but he didn't want the job because he's a good mate of Levinsohn, a source told Reuters.

The interim CEO is thought to have a strong claim for the vacancy after keeping the seat of power warm for the past couple of months. Yahoo! hasn't been able to hold onto the last couple of chief executives it's hired from outside, increasing Levinsohn's chances as an internal candidate.

Previous chief exec Scott Thompson and some of the company's directors were forced to quit just four months after he was hired amid an embarrassing row over his CV, which was shown to include a degree he didn't have.

He arrived after the undignified exit of Carol Bartz, who had the job of CEO for less than two years and was rumoured to have been sacked over the phone. And in between those two, Yahoo! was led by interim CEO Tim Morse.

"The employees at Yahoo cannot take yet another all-hands meeting where we meet another CEO and hear another new vision for the company,” an employee told AllThingsD.

“It’s hard to imagine that again without becoming nauseous.” ®

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