Yahoo! is getting its third chief executive in less than a year after Scott Thompson’s decision to resign.
Thompson’s undoing stems from erroneous biographical references to a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stonehill College. He earned a degree in accounting from the school, based in Easton, Mass., and the information is correctly listed in eBay regulatory filings and some Yahoo news releases. Yet the incorrect degree showed up in Yahoo’s April 27 10-K filing, as well as on the company’s Web site.
Those words are a very polite way of saying Mr. Thompson lied and got caught. And who caught him? Would you believe a hedge fund operator? The San Jose Mercury News explains.
In a stunning victory for an activist hedge fund pressing for changes at Yahoo (YHOO), chief executive Scott Thompson will leave, the company announced Sunday, and the Sunnyvale tech giant’s board will be overhauled.
Replacing Thompson as interim CEO will be Ross Levinsohn, currently executive vice president and head of global media, and one of the fund’spreferred candidates for the job.
The Mother’s Day boardroom drama signals a capitulation by Yahoo to demands from hedge fund Third Point and its aggressive chief Daniel Loeb that the company move in a different direction. It also ends a contest between the struggling company and Loeb over the makeup of the board of directors that had been headed for Yahoo’s annual meeting later this month. Loeb sparked the latest confrontation when he revealed that Thompson’s corporate biography claimed a computer science degree he did not have. …
Loeb, whose fund holds a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, had been growing increasingly unhappy with Thompson and Yahoo’s strategy. And the latest problems cap a string of missteps by the once high-flying company, beginning with the rejection of a lucrative takeover offer from Microsoft. Recently Yahoo fired Carol Bartz, the CEO it hired to turn the company around, and hired Thompson in January, who at the time was president of eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal unit, where he had helped drive a major growth in revenue.
Lest you think that Mr. Thompson is unique in (ahem) inflating (ahem) his resume, consider what the Associated Press noted.