Yahoo investor tells board to fire CEO for lying
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The new CEO of Yahoo is under fire. He was brought in to out the Silicon Valley giant back on course after years adrift, but now Scott Thompson is accused of stretching the truth on his resume. So far, the accusations have not lead to Thompson's removal but, that's exactly what one major shareholder is calling for. In fact, that shareholder is the one raising questions about the CEO's credentials.
Employees on the Yahoo campus mostly milled around on Friday like it was business as usual but behind closed doors, there is a corporate battle against Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson and it's being waged by Daniel Loebe, head of a hedge fund that is a major Yahoo stock holder. He wants a position on the Yahoo board of directors, but they shot down that demand Friday saying in a statement, "The board continues to believe that Mr. Loeb himself does not bring the relevant skill set and experience to the board."
Loeb says Thompson and Yahoo fibbed when they filed a recent SEC statement saying Thompson had a bachelor's degree in computer science from a University in Massachusetts, but he does not. Yahoo has since confirmed the discrepancy in a statement saying Thompson does have a degree in business administration with a major in accounting, but "there was an inadvertent error that stated Mr. Thompson also holds a degree in computer science."
Loeb is not satisfied by the response from Yahoo and wants Thompson fired by Monday. "Terminate Mr. Thompson for cause immediately, given his demonstrable unsuitability to remain Chief Executive Officer and director at Yahoo!" he said. Santa Clara University business ethics professor Kirk Hanson says this raises issues about Thompson's future at Yahoo. "This reflects not on his capability as a high-tech executive, it raises questions about his integrity and that's why this is a big deal," he said.
Since arriving, Thompson has cut expenses at Yahoo to help solidify the bottom line, including 2,000 layoffs last month. Hanson says this internal battle at Yahoo does not look good for the company or Silicon Valley overall. "In some ways, we in Silicon Valley are suffering because of the criticisms of the boards of two of our largest companies, Hewlett Packard and now Yahoo for their performance," he said.
Loeb is also pushing for the resignation of board of director's member Patti Hart who actually helped install Thompson as CEO at Yahoo. Loeb claims she has similar discrepancies in her credentials. She has claimed that she has a bachelor's degree in marketing and economics when in fact, she has a bachelor's degree in business administration.
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