CEO Resume Flap Brings More Disarray At Yahoo

Third Point Letter to Board May 3 ReleaseScott Thompson

It’s a critical time for Yahoo, as the company tries to get back on track with a new CEO after recent layoffs and years of challenges. Now, it turns out this new CEO, Scott Thompson, came in with an inaccuracy in his resume — his bios in various places claimed he had a computer science degree, when, in fact, he only has a degree in accounting.

The discrepancy was pointed out by Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point, a Yahoo activist shareholder, who said he obtained the information from “a rudimentary Google search” that turned up an announcement from Thompson’s alma mater, Boston-based Stonehill College. Third Point is one of Yahoo’s largest outside investors, reporting 4.61% ownership as of the end of last year. AllThingsD.com first reported on the controversy.

Thompson came to Yahoo in January after serving as the president of eBay unit PayPal. His bio at PayPal incorrectly lists the computer science degree, as well. Yahoo has reportedly changed the bio on its site already.

In a letter to the Yahoo board, Loeb says the discrepancy calls into question Thomas’ trustworthiness, as well as the competence of the search committee in charge of vetting Thompson’s credentials. Notably, the incorrect information made its way into a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Loeb found an additional resume error on that of Patti Hart, who led the search committee. Her bio said she had degrees in marketing and economics, when her degree is in business administration.

“Now more than ever Yahoo! investors need a trustworthy CEO,” said Loeb in his letter.

Yahoo has acknowledged the error, according to AllThingsD, calling it an “inadvertent error” . Here’s the full text of Yahoo’s statements:

Scott Thompson received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from Stonehill college. There was an inadvertent error that stated Mr. Thompson also holds a degree in computer science. This in no way alters the fact that Mr. Thompson is a highly qualified executive with a successful track record leading large consumer technology companies. Under Mr. Thompson’s leadership, Yahoo! Is moving forward to grow the company and drive shareholder value.

We can confirm that Patti Hart holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration with specialties in marketing and economics from Illinois State University.

In connection with the statement the company made earlier today about Scott Thompson, the Yahoo! board will be reviewing this matter, and upon completion of its review, will make an appropriate disclosure to shareholders.

P.S. In his latest salvo to the Yahoo board, Loeb has demanded that both Thompson and Hart be fired by Monday at noon. He also demanded information about the vetting process and whether others were aware of Thompson’s lack of a computer science degree. Loeb has been engaged in an effort to place representatives of his company on Yahoo’s board, which has so far been unsuccessful.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Yahoo: Business Issues

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About The Author: is executive features editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported on, written about and worked in digital media and marketing for more than 10 years. She is a previous managing editor of ClickZ and has worked on the other side of digital publishing, helping independent publishers monetize their sites in her work at Federated Media Publishing.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.mckee Peggy McKee

    Mr. Loeb seems to be a bit of a nosy dude. If Yahoo hired him, they probably knew all of this. And this sounds like an error (IMO). 

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