Yahoo has bowed to shareholder pressure and replaced Scott Thompson as CEO, after he was discovered to have falsified his degree on his resume.
The campaign to oust Thompson was led by Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point, who discovered that Thompson’s degree was in accounting rather than accounting and computer science, as he claimed.
Thompson has now stepped down, and has been replaced by Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO. Levinsohn was previously executive vice president and head of global media for Yahoo; one assumes his resume’s been checked thoroughly.
Third Point’s also won other concessions. Roy Bostock, chairman of the board of directors, is stepping down too, along with Patti Hart, VJ Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson. Bostock will be replaced by Fred Amoroso, and the others by Third Point nominees – Loeb himself, along with Harry J Wilson and Michael J Wolf.
“Harry, Michael and I are delighted to join the Yahoo board and work collaboratively with our fellow directors to foster a culture of leadership dedicated to innovation, excellence in corporate governance, and responsiveness to users, advertisers and partners,” says Loeb.
“We are confident this board will benefit from shareholder representation, and we are committed to working with new leadership to unlock Yahoo’s significant potential and value.”
The move is a deep embarrassment for the company, whose previous CEO, Carol Bartz, was fired less than a year ago. Thompson was the company’s great hope, announcing plans to shut down poorly-performing units and cut 2,000 jobs.
It’s not known whether these policies will continue, but Amoroso says the company still has a strong business and assets.
“The board is pleased to announce these changes and the settlement with Third Point, and is confident that they will serve the best interests of our shareholders and further accelerate the substantial advances the company has made operationally and organizationally since last August,” he says.