Yahoo CEO Taps Former CBS Interactive Colleague as Legal Chief

Yahoo Inc. has hired Darin Bassin to become its new chief legal officer and corporate secretary starting Oct. 10, according to an internal company memorandum viewed by Bloomberg Law.

Bassin joins Yahoo from Paramount Global, where he’s spent nearly the past two years as general counsel and executive vice president of corporate development for the media company’s streaming group.

“Darin is an exceptional leader with extensive experience as a general counsel in the digital and media industries,” Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jim Lanzone said in the memo about his former colleague from CBS Interactive Inc.

Apollo Global Management Inc. acquired Yahoo as part of a $5 billion purchase of Verizon Communications Inc.’s media division announced last year. Apollo said then that the entire company, which included AOL and TechCrunch, will be called Yahoo.

Bassin succeeds Julie Jacobs, a former top lawyer at AOL who had been general counsel for Yahoo and its Verizon media unit predecessor since 2017. Jacobs left Yahoo to become the new legal chief at HP Inc. starting next month.

Bassin, a Canadian who started his legal career as a corporate associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York, in 2006 became a senior counsel for mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions at CBS Corp. He spent five years in that role before spending the next decade as a top lawyer and corporate development executive for CBS Interactive.

CBS and Viacom Inc. reunited in late 2019 after 13 years apart. The combined company, ViacomCBS Inc., earlier this year changed its name to Paramount Global.

Yahoo last year hired Lanzone, a former president and chief executive at CBS Interactive, as its CEO. Lanzone said in the memo that Bassin’s legal team was “key to almost everything we did during those years” at CBS.

Lanzone cited the creation of CBS’s streaming businesses and ViacomCBS’s $500 million sale of CNET Media Group to Red Ventures LLC in 2020.

In his memo, Lanzone called Jacobs’s exit “bittersweet” and praised her leadership and counsel to Yahoo “in many of its different forms” for more than two decades.

“Julie led the company through numerous M&A transactions, most notable orchestrating the integration of AOL and Yahoo in 2017, and then negotiating Yahoo’s acquisition by Apollo last year,” he said.

Jacobs replaced Yahoo’s former top lawyer, Ronald Bell, in 2017 after he resigned following a hacking scandal.

Bell spent nearly five years as Yahoo’s top lawyer, having succeeded the company’s longtime legal chief Michael Callahan in 2012.