Yahoo is the focus of some uncomfortable scrutiny following revelations that its chief, Scott Thompson, may have exaggerated his education, resulting in an institutional investor demanding action by Monday.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company confirmed Thursday that his credentials, questioned recently by a shareholder, incorrectly stated that he holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Stonehill College in recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, calling it in an "inadvertent error."
The biographical discrepancy was initially pointed out by New York hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb of Third Point, which holds a 5.8% stake in Yahoo. On Friday, Third Point sent a letter to the Yahoo board of directors, calling the response "insulting to shareholders" and "the height of arrogance," demanding punitive action by Monday.
"Mr. Thompson and the Board should make no mistake: this is a big deal," the letter said.
In the past, other companies have suspended or fired executives who lied on their resumes.
The board did say in its statement that it would "review" the situation and make an "appropriate disclosure to shareholders."
The company remained supportive of Thompson in its statement. "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," Yahoo said. "Under Mr. Thompson's leadership, Yahoo is moving forward to grow the company and drive shareholder value."