The chief executive officer of one of the web’s biggest companies is facing major criticism this week after it was discovered he added an unearned degree to his resume. Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson may even be forced to resign over the matter.
Thompson has only been at the helm of Yahoo for four months, though he’s made quite the splash during that time. Back in April he announced plans to cut the company’s workforce by 14 per cent, laying off an estimated 2,000 employees worldwide. It’s believed the brazen and not altogether popular move could save the company an astounding $375 million, and offers the possibility of getting Yahoo back on track after years of sliding revenue and popularity.
But any forward momentum earned by Thompson could be threatened by a serious ethical error. According to reports, Thompson, who attended Stonehill College in Eaton Massachusetts in the 1970s, added a computer science degree from the school without actually earning it.
Thompson graduated from Stonehill in 1979 and did earn a legitimate bachelor of science degree in business administration with a minor in accounting.
Despite establishing himself as a bold and efficient company leader, Thompson faces having to resign over the slip-up because at least one major Yahoo investor believes it’s time for him to step aside.
“CEO’s have been terminated for less at other companies,” said David Loeb, who controls about 5.8 per cent of Yahoo through his hedge fund Third Point LLC.
Industry experts are equally astounded by the finding. “Resume-padding is the most bush-league of the many dissimulations available to ambitious executives,” noted analyst Hadley Reynolds, who works for IDC.
“His enemies must be amazed at their luck in unearthing a public misrepresentation issue that calls Scott Thompson’s ethical judgment, professional competence, and basic intelligence into question all at once.”
It’s unclear at this point what the next move will be for Yahoo or Thompson. The Internet company’s board says it’s currently reviewing the matter, though it has noted it believes the issue was related to “an inadvertent error.”
We’ll see if that’s enough to save Thompson’s job.