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Update: Yahoo to investigate chief executive Scott Thompson over embellished CV

04 May 2012

Yahoo's leadership dramas refuse to die down after revelations that recently appointed chief executive Scott Thompson may have embellished his CV by claiming to hold a degree in accounting and computer science, when the degree was actually just for accounting.

A statement attributed to the company by AllThingsD claims that Yahoo's board will be investigating whether Thompson knowingly provided false information.

"In connection with the statement the company made earlier today about Scott Thompson, the Yahoo board will be reviewing this matter, and upon completion of its review, will make an appropriate disclosure to shareholders.”

The issue was raised by shareholder activist, Dan Loeb, who wrote to the firm's board bringing the discrepancy to attention, claiming Thompson had "embellished his academic credentials" in order to land the role.

"A rudimentary Google search reveals a Stonehill College alumni announcement stating that Thompson's degree is in accounting only. That announcement is consistent with other documents (including filings with the SEC) that reflect Thompson received a degree in accounting, but not computer science," Loeb said in the letter to the board.

"If 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 [chief executive] who has been tasked with leading Yahoo at this critical juncture."

Yahoo has dismissed Loeb's concerns.

A company spokesperson claiming the issue was merely down to human error and backed the credentials of Thompson to lead the company.

"Scott Thompson's degree at Stonehill College was in bachelor science in accounting. There was an inadvertent error that stated Thompson also holds a degree in computer science," the spokesperson said.

"This, in no way, alters that fact that Thompson is a highly qualified executive with a successful track record leading large consumer technology companies."

Since taking over at Yahoo, Thompson has already set the firm on the path to cut costs and reduce the online estates it owns in order to try and rebuild the firm's former strength, with the last quarter results proving impressive.

Yahoo is also involved in a patent spat with Facebook, the threat of which forced Facebook to spend $550m on a swathe of patents from Microsoft.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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