Yahoo’s Thompson quits in wake of CV scandal

Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson is set to step down from his job at the embattled internet giant just months after taking over from Carol Bartz.

According to AllThingsD, the company will say that Thompson’s is leaving for “personal reasons”.

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Revelations that Thompson faked parts of his CV, however, are likely at the centre of his decision to exit Yahoo!

The company’s global media head Ross Levinsohn, who also ran its Americas unit, is reportedly next in line for Yahoo!’s revolving throne.

When Thompson’s indiscretions were first revealed, the company issued a statement saying:

“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 educational inaccuracy was brought to light by shareholder Dan Loeb of investment company Third Point who is “agitating for board seats via a proxy fight”.

In the days after the revelations, Thompson reportedly tried to pin the indiscretion on head-hunting company Heidrick and Struggles. The company struck back saying that the CEO’s claim was “verifiably not true” and that it was in possession of a CV Thompson had submitted, which includes the fake Computer Science degree.

According to AllThingD, Loeb is set to come of out of the whole ordeal smiling. The hedge-fund investor will grab an additional three seats on the Yahoo! board. Two of those seats are to be taken by media executive Michael Wolf and “turn around specialist” Harry Wilson.

This effectively amounts to a corporate coup with the five current Yahoo! directors slated to step down immediately.

Fred Amaroso, the recently added director who has been investigating Thompson, will reportedly become the new chairman of the board.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reckons the whole affair has resulted in a further decline in morale for an already demoralised workforce.

His stepping down will more than likely put a halt to the massive restructuring Thompson has been undertaking at Yahoo!, which included laying off 2 000 employees.

Silicon Valley veteran Tom Formeski meanwhile recently pointed out that Thompson’s decision to lie about his degree may be symptomatic of tech’s cult of the engineer.

According to Levinson’s Yahoo bio:

He previously served as the President of News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations, strategy and acquisitions that helped transformed the company into a leader in digital media.

He also held senior management positions with AltaVista, an early pioneer and leader in search, CBS Sportsline where he oversaw all content and development for the top rated sports site, and HBO where he launched and oversaw a unit developing new programming and revenue streams. Levinsohn also was the co-founder and managing director of Fuse Capital, an investment and strategic equity management firm focused on investing in and building digital media and communications companies.

Levinsohn sits on the board of Freedom Communications and the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The American University.

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