Ross Levinsohn during his time at Yahoo. Ross Levinsohn during his time at Yahoo.

Former Arena Group CEO Ross Levinsohn has resigned his seat on the company’s board, per a Friday post from Levinsohn on LinkedIn.

Levinsohn called “the destruction of Sports Illustrated’s storied brand and newsroom” the final straw for his resignation.

Here’s the full text of his post.

“Today I resigned my position as a board member at The Arena Group. The actions of this Board and the destruction of Sports Illustrated’s storied brand and newsroom are the last straw. An incredible team spent years rebuilding great brands like SI through very challenging times. To watch in horror what is transpiring now is one of the most disappointing things I’ve ever witnessed in my professional life.”

Levinsohn was named the CEO of the Sports Illustrated line in June 2019 following the Arena Group’s (then known as Maven) purchase of the licensing rights to SI’s media operations from the Authentic Brands Group. He became Arena’s CEO in August 2020 following Jim Heckman’s departure from the company.

In December, Levinsohn was replaced as CEO of Arena Group after a scandal involving AI-generated articles on SI.

On his final day at Arena, Levinsohn made another post on LinkedIn, touting his work and claiming “the company is positioned well for the future.”

After 4 1/2 years, today is my last day at The Arena Group. Following our majority sale announced last month, the company is positioned well for the future. It has been an incredible ride. We’ve been able to grow the business substantially from 10s of millions of users to more than 100 million and 10s of millions of revenue to hundreds of millions. We’ve grown in every key category and added brands like SI, The Street, Parade, Men’s Journal, Powder and Surfer to our platform to help create a major digital player. I’m most proud of the team. I’ve worked at some stellar places with rock stars across the board, but this team at Arena is as good as it gets, and as we close the sale of the majority of the business to Simplified Inventions, I know it is in good hands for the future. I would be remiss not to thank those who really made it all happen but there are too many to name but you all know who you are. Thank you to all of you. Excited for what the future will bring and so grateful for the experience of running and building a public company with such success.

Levinsohn held various roles at media companies before his time at Arena and SI. He joined Yahoo as EVP of the Americas in 2010 and also served as interim CEO in 2012. In 2014, he was the executive chairman of Scout Media. Levinsohn joined the LA Times in August 2017 as the publisher and CEO, was accused of sexual harassment (and was cleared) in January 2018, and left the paper for a role at then-parent company Tronc.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.