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Why no one cares about Yahoo! CEO’s fake degree

May 3rd, 2012

An investment fund known as Third Point LLC, which owns a little less than 6% of Yahoo!, issued a press release about Yahoo!’s chief executive.

According to their findings, CEO Scott Thompson lied about holding degrees in both accounting and computer science. Mr. Thompson only holds a degree in accounting.

From Third Point LLC’s press release issued on May 3, 2012:

If Mr. Thompson embellished his academic credentials we think that it 1) undermines his credibility as a technology expert and 2) reflects poorly on the character of the CEO who has been tasked with leading Yahoo! at this critical juncture. Now more than ever Yahoo! investors need a trustworthy CEO.

Let’s put the problem into perspective; it’s a lie on a biography from more than 30 years ago. Typically, when people intentionally lie about education, they fabricate Ph.Ds, MBAs, military experience or even going to college.

Yahoo! acted quickly to correct the problem on its website and released its own statement. “[The error], 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,” according to the company’s statement.

Given the multiple shifts in strategies and executives, as well as a stock price worth half today than five years ago, it’s not entirely surprising a few shareholders hold a grudge against Mr. Thompson.

However, personal attacks to executives are quickly deflected while their companies swoop in to defend their credentials.

If you’re looking to change a company’s direction, then challenge its strategy and forecasts directly. Don’t hide behind personal accusations.

 

The photo of this post is copyright (c) 2007 by alykat and made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license.

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