Yahoo CEO Apologizes for False Resume Claim

By Beecher Tuttle May 08, 2012

Embattled Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson apologized to company employees on Monday for the distraction caused by an alleged misrepresentation in the educational background of his resume, but conveyed no plans to step down.

Thompson's short tenure as chief executive has come under immense scrutiny after hedge fund Third Point, a major stakeholder in Yahoo aiming to gain seats on its board, revealed that Thompson erroneously claimed a bachelor of computer science degree that he never received.

In his bio on both Yahoo's site and that of his previous employer, eBay, Thompson claims to have received bachelor's degrees in both accounting and computer science from Stonehill College, in Massachusetts. However, Third Point CEO Dan Loeb, embroiled in a contentious proxy fight with Yahoo, revealed last week that Thompson only holds a degree in accounting, and that Stonehill only offered a single course in computer science, not a separate degree program.

Yahoo initially tagged the faulty resume as an "inadvertent error," but has since open in investigation into the matter after investors and analysts called for Thompson to resign, according to the Associated Press.

Third Point set a noon Monday deadline for Yahoo to fire Thompson and, after seeing no action from Yahoo's board, demanded today that the company hand over documents related to its CEO search. The hedge fund also disclosed that Yahoo's head of the executive search committee, Patti Hart, earned a degree in business administration from Illinois State University, not in marketing and economics as she had claimed on her resume.

"Irreparable damage to Yahoo’s culture will continue every day that the board allows Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hart to remain at the helm of the company after having clearly demonstrated that they lack even the ‘minimum qualifications for service as a director of the company,” Loeb wrote in a proxy letter obtained by the New York Times.

Unnamed Yahoo employees have also conveyed their disappointment in Thompson, who recently announced Yahoo's largest round of layoffs in its 18-year history.

 On Monday, Thompson apologized to his employees and urged them to "act as one team to fulfill the potential of this great company and keep moving forward."

Still, Thompson's future with Yahoo remains in serious doubt. A number of executives in and out of the tech field have lost their jobs after misrepresenting their credentials. Compounding the situation is the fact that Yahoo finds itself in a transitional period that demands solidified leadership.

Yahoo's board is expected to make a decision on Thompson's future in the coming days.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

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