Yahoo Board Member Quits over ResumeGate
Activist shareholder Third Point has been agitating for Patti Hart to go and take Thompson with her
By: Maureen O'Gara
May. 9, 2012 08:15 AM
Yahoo board member Patti Hart, who led the search committee that resulted in Yahoo hiring PayPal president Scott Thompson as its CEO, won't stand for re-election at the next annual meeting, according to sources tapped by All Things Digital.
Activist shareholder Third Point has been agitating for her to go and take Thompson with her since it discovered last week that both of them had faked their college degrees. It's currently demanding transcriptions of all of Yahoo's records concerning Thompson's appointment although what it really wants is to get its slate of candidates on Yahoo's misbegotten board.
The blog says Third Point's going to find it wasn't much of a search. Thompson reportedly sent Yahoo board member and Intuit CEO Brad Smith a cold-call e-mail out-of-the-blue looking for the job.
The rest is history although the Wall Street Journal claims Thompson's hiring is being laid at the door of outgoing Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock, who encouraged Yahoo founder Jerry Yang to reject Microsoft's magnificent offer to buy the company a few years ago.
The rest of the board reportedly didn't know until a few hours before that they would be asked to vote him in as CEO. The search committee didn't trust the news wouldn't leak, the paper said.
Anyway, All Things D says Hart, who's CEO of International Game Technology, has come under pressure from her own board to get out from under the Yahoo mess and pay attention to her own house. The blog still thinks Yahoo was going to fire her.
Yahoo's board reportedly met by telephone Sunday, and again on Monday, to deal with the Scott Thompson resume issue.
According to the Wall Street Journal it's created a special three-person committee and is hiring an outside law firm to investigate how Thompson's padded undergraduate credentials managed to get in Yahoo regulatory filings. All Things Digital says Yahoo director Fred Amoroso has been detailed to head the investigation.
His phony computer science claims didn't get into regulatory filings made by eBay or companies whose boards he sat on although web sites and press releases credited him with having a bachelor's degree in both computer science and accounting.
And having exhorted Yahoo staff to "stay focused" last week Thompson, who reportedly blames Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb for conducting a personal vendetta against him, sent this "I-ain't-leaving" note around late Monday:
I wanted to share some additional thoughts with you related to the disclosure of my academic credentials.
As I told you on Friday, the board is reviewing the issue and I will provide whatever they need from me. In the meantime, I want you to know how deeply I regret how this issue has affected the company and all of you. We have all been working very hard to move the company forward, and this has had the opposite effect. For that, I take full responsibility, and I want to apologize to you.
In my note Friday, I said I would be focused on continuing to do what needs to get done. That's because I feel I owe it to all of you to make sure that nothing disrupts the progress we've made in just a few short months due to all of your focus, commitment, and hard work. As you've heard me say many times, we have a tremendous business with incredible assets, and we can win by putting our customers first. The progress I shared with you in the first quarter should make clear that we intend to move fast and deliver on the potential of the business for our customers, shareholders, and all of you.
I know the board plans to conduct the review thoroughly and independently, and I respect that process. I am hopeful that this matter will be concluded promptly. But, in the meantime, we have a lot of work to do. We need to continue to act as one team to fulfill the potential of this great company and keep moving forward. You have my word that all my energy and attention will be on that mission.
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