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Yahoo CEO steps down

Following claims he embellished his academic credentials
Mon May 14 2012, 10:55
Former PayPal president Scott Thompson joins Yahoo as CEO

INTERNET PORTAL Yahoo's CEO Scott Thompson has stepped down following accusations that he lied on his CV by claiming a computer science degree that he didn't receive.

A statement released by Yahoo Sunday did not give a reason for his departure, saying only that Scott Thompson "has left the company" and will be replaced by Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO, effective immediately.

10 days ago it was revealed that Yahoo's board of directors had begun in investigation into the academic credentials of the company's recently hired CEO. This was instigated by hedge fund Third Point's founder and CEO Dan Loeb saying Thompson's claim to hold a bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College near Boston was "padded out".

Loeb said Thompson "embellished his academic credentials" because he in fact got a degree in accounting only.

Yahoo's statement on Sunday said that it had settled a proxy battle with Third Point and will nominate three of the hedge fund's slate of four candidates to the board, including Loeb.

"The Board is pleased to announce these changes and the settlement with Third Point, and is confident that they will serve the best interests of our shareholders and further accelerate the substantial advances the Company has made operationally and organizationally since last August," the statement read.

A Yahoo spokesman previously told The INQUIRER that the academic discrepancy was simply an "inadvertent error".

According to a report at Reuters last Tuesday, Thompson sent a memo to Yahoo staff expressing his regret that the issue was getting in the way of the company's fortunes.

"I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you. We have all been working very hard to move the company forward and this has had the opposite effect. For that, I take full responsibility, and I want to apologise to you," he said. "I am hopeful that this matter will be concluded promptly."

And concluded promptly, it was. Perhaps not in a way that Thompson would have wished, though.

Thompson's swift departure after only a few months on the job doesn't bode well for a company struggling to revive growth amid fierce competition from Google and Facebook. µ


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