Yahoo’s board plans to review the apparent resume padding of CEO Scott Thompson after activist shareholder Dan Loeb accused Thompson of lying about his education, the company said late on Thursday.
Under new allegations, and mounting evidence that Thompson misrepresented his education, the Yahoo CEO has found himself under more scrutiny than he’s likely ever had in his career. Thompson’s public biography for the past six years says that he has degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College, while he actually just has an accounting degree.
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Yahoo confirmed yesterday that Thompson did not have a computer science degree and called listing it on his biography and in SEC filings an “inadvertent error.” Yahoo’s full statement reads:
“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 that fact that Mr. Thompson is a highly qualified executive with a successful track record leading large consumer technology companies.
That statement did not sit well with reporters, who noticed that Thompson’s bio as the CTO of PayPal also included the computer science degree listing. That’s added more speculation that Thompson deliberately misrepresented his credentials so he would have more credibility with the tech community.
Plus, in a 2009 radio interview, Thompson did not deny that he had a computer science degree after being asked about it. Late in the interview, the TechNation radio show asked Thompson about his bachelor’s degree “in accounting and computer science,” but Thompson did not correct the record.
After all this came to light, Yahoo released a second statement that the board will review the mounting evidence. Yahoo writes:
“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.”
All the evidence thus far is quite damning and the best defense Thompson will have is ignorance. Most likely, he will claim he hadn’t looked at his biography for many years, but we’ll see what happens.
Scott Thompson photo: Yodel Anecdotal/Flickr