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Reportedly denies falsifying records; questions now over where the false information came from
The saga over Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s resume took an interesting turn today, and things are now more complicated than ever, with more questions piling up about how exactly this entire scandal happened.
Thompson met with top Yahoo executives today and informed them that, not only did he never provide Yahoo with any falsified information, he never even gave them his resume, a source told Reuters Wednesday.
Thompson was listed as having a degree in computer science as an undergraduate from Stonehill College, where Thompson had graduated in 1979. Stonehill did not offer a degree in computer science until 1983.
The incorrect information about what degree Thompson acquired wound up on Thompson’s official biography on Yahoo (which has since been scrubbed of any information regarding Thompson’s education) and on regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well.
Now Thompson says nothing he gave the company during the hiring process would have led them to believe he had earned this degree.
So where did the information come from exactly?
According to a letter sent to the Yahoo Board by Dan Loeb earlier this week, the inconsistency in Thompson’s record goes back to papers filed by PayPal in 2008, where Thompson served as president of the company from January 2008 to January 2012.
“Since hiring Mr. Thompson, Yahoo!’s public filings– namely, Yahoo!’s 2011 annual report and the Preliminary Proxy Statement filed with the SEC on April 27, 2012 – as well as public filings by Mr. Thompson’s prior employer (eBay/Paypal) from 2008 onwards disclosed that Mr. Thompson graduated with a degree in ‘accounting and computer science” from Stonehill College in 1979.’”
These revelations by Thompson open up the possibility that he did not actually lie to executives at Yahoo, but what about those at PayPal? This information had to originate somewhere, and Dan Loeb is surely not going to rest until he gets to the bottom of it.
It is unknown at this time what else Thompson told the executives at the meeting.
The latest twist
It began last week when Third Point CEO Dan Loeb wrote a letter to the Yahoo Board notifying them of the error, while also accusing board member Patti Hearst, CEO of IGT, of also falsifying her academic records. Loeb called on them to be fired.
Loeb also since demanded that Yahoo give his lawyers access to their books and records in regards to Thompson’s hiring process.
Hart has since said she will not seek reelection to the Board, and Yahoo has set up a commission to explore Thompson’s records and to look into how he came to be hired after Loeb accused the Yahoo Board of not acting “in good faith” when they hired Thompson over nominees suggested by Third Point.
Up until now, the only action Thompson had taken was to apologize to his employees in a company-wide memo, but had given no explanation as to how this error came about. This is the first time he has offered up any information that might clarify what happened, but now there are even more questions that need to be answered by Yahoo’s commission.
Thompson’s short tenure has been rocky at best, and one has to wonder: even if Thompson is found to have done nothing wrong in the matter, has his reputation has been so soiled at this point that the Yahoo Board might fired him anyway.
Of course, if Loeb has his way, the Yahoo Board will be going out right along with him.
Yahoo did not return out request for comment
(Image source: thecatspajamas.biz)
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