Photo: Yodel Anecdotal
Yahoo’s biggest shareholder, Dan Loeb of hedge Third Point, just dropped a bombshell accusation.He says Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson lied about his education, claiming in SEC documents to have a degree in computer science when the school he attended did not offer one during his time there (and in fact only had one computer science class available).
Yahoo just responded, calling the whole thing “an inadvertent error.”
“Scott Thompson’s degree at Stonehill College was in bachelor science in accounting. 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. Under Mr. Thompson’s leadership, Yahoo! is moving forward to grow the company and drive shareholder value.”
This response is simply not good enough.
Kara Swisher points out why: “this is a mistake that goes back 10 years, as it is also on his bio at eBay, where he served as president of its PayPal unit.”
This could be a disaster for Thompson’s tenure at Yahoo.
You can’t rule out the possibility that he may lose his job.
The reason is that this is more than just an embellishment on a resume, which has sunk many CEOs. It’s that the alleged embellish is a degree in “Computer Science”: a major credibility-builder in Silicon Valley.
If Thompson does not have a good explanation, every engineer in Yahoo and elsewhere will instantly lose respect for him – and the board will be in the position of saying it is fine to have liar as CEO.