Scott Thompson

The year 2012 has been an eventful and unpleasant one for Scott Thompson. In January he left his post as head of Ebay’s PayPal unit to become the new chief executive officer of Yahoo!. In May activist shareholders revealed that an entry on his résumé claiming that he had a bachelor’s degree in computer science was inaccurate. Less than two weeks later, Thompson was gone from Yahoo, undergoing treatments for thyroid cancer [he is cancer free now] and seemingly vanquished from the Silicon Valley scene. Now, the comeback: Thompson has signed on as CEO of ShopRunner, which is organizing a consortium of retailers to offer perks like free two-day shipping for online purchases. [Businessweek]

Considering he’s now a Yahoo! board member, Dan Loeb presumably approves of the hire but one should always assume a cross-check on his or her credentials will be run anyway, just in case. [WSJ, related]

Last Thursday afternoon, hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, who is waging a proxy battle against Yahoo, made a simple request: that the board of directors fire CEO Scott Thompson, who had lied about having a computer science degree from Stonehill College, when in fact the academic fraud only graduated with a degree in accounting. Loeb wanted the job done by Monday at 12 noon, EST and as the deadline passed, it was clear the request was would not be honored. As a result, Loeb was forced to demand every single document related to Thompson’s hiring at the company. Emails, heading hunting referrals, thoughts, feelings, the works. Most importantly, the résumé Thomspon submitted when applying for the gig. Did Loeb enjoy dragging this out? No. Did he take pleasure in watching the “carnage” unfold? Certainly not, and he’s shocked and offended anyone would ever think that. Nevertheless, a computer science degree had been fabricated out of thin air and Loeb felt he owed it to shareholders to get some answers. And while Yahoo! has presumably not yet faxed over the documents he asked for, they did offer this: Read more »

In fact, hand to god, Dan Loeb and Co. find this “embarrassing episode” that they set the wheels in motion for painful to watch. Read more »

  • 08 May 2012 at 12:50 PM

Yahoo! RésuméGate: Day 6

Patti S. Hart, the Yahoo director who headed the board search committee that picked Scott Thompson as the company’s chief executive, will not stand for re-election, a person briefed on the matter told DealBook on Tuesday. Ms. Hart’s departure, which could be announced as soon as Tuesday afternoon, is the first significant response by Yahoo amid the growing controversy over Mr. Thompson’s academic record. The company is also expected to formally announce later on Tuesday the formation of a three-member board committee to investigate Mr. Thompson’s hiring and how erroneous academic information appeared in official company documents…Before last Thursday, Mr. Thompson’s biography said he had earned both accounting and computer science degrees from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. After prodding by the hedge fund Third Point last week, Yahoo conceded that Mr. Thompson had earned only an accounting degree. Ms. Hart’s biographical information also misstated her academic credentials, saying she had a degree in marketing and economics when it was in business administration. [Dealbook, earlier]

Do you know what time it is? Nearly 1PM, EDT. The significance? That it is over an hour past the deadline hedge fund manager Dan Loeb put the Yahoo board on to fire CEO Scott Thompson and director Patti Hart for being résumé con artists. (Thompson, Loeb revealed last week, lied in SEC filings about having a computer science degree from Stonehill College, while Hart claimed to have graduated from Illinois State University with degrees in marketing and economics when, in fact, she merely earned a bachelors in business administration and specialized in marketing and econ). On Friday, Loeb demanded that the C.V. frauds be terminated for cause given their “demonstrable unsuitability” to continue their roles with the company. Clearly that did not happen, so now this is: Read more »

As you may have heard, Third Point Management is currently waging a proxy battle against Yahoo, of which it owns 5.81 percent. Last September, the hedge fund and its founder, Dan Loeb, wrote a letter to the company’s board of directors entitled “The Failures of Yahoo’s Board of Directors Necessitate a Significant Infusion of Fresh Board Talent,” in November it demanded two board seats in order to wrest the ship from a bunch of bumbling incompetents, and in February, it said actually, make that four seats. Unfortunately, Yahoo resisted. Which is why yesterday, Loeb and Third Point were forced to enter into the record some damning evidence showing current YHOO CEO Scott Thompson to be a dangerous, dangerous liar, the likes of which the search engine would be wise to sever ties.

Specifically, Third Point revealed that contrary to statements made on SEC filings, Thompson? Did not graduate from Stonehill College with degrees in both computer science and accounting but only the latter. The reason Third Point knew this to be true was because it Googled Stonehill College and found that the school did not even start offering computer science degrees until 1983, well after the time Thompson graduated. So, a liar and a liar who can’t even be bothered to cover his tracks to boot. Oh, but the résumé chicanery did not stop there. Yahoo director Patti Hart, Third Point, went on to reveal, also had her own little C.V. “error” to speak of. Whereas Ms. Hart claimed to have graduated from Illinois State University with degrees in marketing and economics, in fact, merely earned a bachelors in business administration and specialized in marketing and econ.

Yahoo, which yesterday confirmed the résumé duplicity, clearly needed no further substantiation that these two were academic frauds. Third Point and Loeb knew this much to be true. AND YET. As of 2PM today, a whopping twenty-four hours after their lies caught up to them, they remain employed by the company. So now this is happening because apparently some people need to be put on a deadline: Read more »

  • 03 May 2012 at 3:01 PM

THE PROSECUTION RESTS! (Update)

Read more »