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Yahoo CEO expected to leave over resume discrepancy

Chief Executive Scott Thompson apparently misrepresented his college credentials, falsely saying he had a computer science degree, an error flagged by an activist shareholder.

May 13, 2012|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
  • Scott Thompson, who was named CEO of Yahoo in January, speaks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco in November 2010, when he was president of PayPal.
Scott Thompson, who was named CEO of Yahoo in January, speaks at the Web 2.0… (Paul Sakuma, Associated…)

Yahoo Chief Executive Scott Thompson is expected to step down Sunday after dissident shareholders called attention to his apparent misrepresentation of his college credentials.

News of the impending departure was credited to multiple unnamed sources by the Wall Street Journal's technology blog AllThingsD.

In an email sent to Yahoo employees last week, Thompson, 54, apologized to workers at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet company.

"The board is reviewing the issue and I will provide whatever they need from me," Thompson wrote. "In the meantime, I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you."

The board will appoint an interim chief executive and three new board members Sunday, the Journal said.

An EBay biography and recent Yahoo filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Thompson had degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. His having a computer science degree turned out to be false. Yahoo earlier this month called it an "inadvertent error."

The discrepancy was flagged by activist shareholder Daniel Loeb of the hedge fund Third Point. Loeb discovered that Stonehill, a private Catholic school near Boston, didn't begin offering computer science degrees until four years after Thompson had graduated.

The three new board members are expected to be nominated by Loeb. The Journal said Yahoo's board will appoint the company's global media head, Ross Levinsohn, as interim CEO. Thompson headed PayPal before going to Yahoo.

Director Patti Hart, who headed the search that led to Thompson's hiring in January, has decided against seeking reelection to the board at its next annual meeting.

Yahoo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

roger.vincent@latimes.com

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