The Curious Case of Scott Thompson’s Resume

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson assured the company’s senior management on Thursday that he never submitted a resume or falsified his academic credentials.

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Thompson has recently found himself at the center of a controversy surrounding his credentials. Last week, Yahoo disclosed Thompson’s official biography that revealed that he had earned accounting and computer science degrees from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. But Thompson never earned a degree in computer science.

Third Point LLC revealed the error in Thompson’s record last week and prompted Yahoo’s concession. The activist hedge fund is seeking to gain four seats on Yahoo’s board, with Third Point founder Daniel S. Loeb calling for Thompson to be fired. Third Point also demanded that Yahoo submit all records relating to the CEO search process.

The Internet company has formed an independent board committee to investigate Thompson’s credentials and examine how they were overlooked in the vetting process and ended up in official company documents. The director of the committee who led the board’s search committee last year has announced that she will not stand for re-election

Thompson is likely to argue that he never falsified information because he never submitted a resume to Yahoo. Last fall, Yahoo began searching for a new chief executive and hired the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ:HSII) to help in the effort. Thompson contacted the board directly and expressed interest in the position, and he eventually met with representative for Yahoo’s board during the hiring process late last year. Even if Thompson argues that he did not submit a resume, many will question how a computer science degree found its way into his resume and record in the first place.

The degree appeared in his corporate biography at PayPal, an eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) division that he led until taking his current position at Yahoo. However, a review of eBay’s securities filings revealed that the company only noted Thompson’s accounting degree. The regulatory filings at Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) and F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), where Thompson previously worked, also revealed that he only listed an accounting degree.

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