Scott Thompson’s resume “error” is adopting questions about how thoroughly Yahoo vetted him for the CEO job.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Shock over the account that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson bedlam his resume with an bizarre academy amount bound gave way to two questions: How the hell did this happen? And what should Yahoo, which went through three CEOs in three years, do about it?
“Thompson has bound absent the aplomb of abounding employees, who anticipate he has to go,” one chief Yahoo controlling told CNN. “A lot of bodies are saying, ‘How can Yahoo let this happen?’”
The aspersion afire backward aftermost anniversary back activist actor accumulation Third Point declared that Thompson aria about his academy degree.
Thompson’s appear Yahoo bios — including the one in the company’s latest anniversary report, a acknowledged certificate that CEOs charge alone affirm are authentic — accept claimed that he holds a bachelor’s amount in both accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. His amount is absolutely in accounting only.
Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) alleged the aberration an “inadvertent error.” The lath said Tuesday that it has assassin alfresco admonition to conduct a analysis of the apocryphal statement. Soon after, the administrator who led Yahoo’s CEO chase board appear that she would footfall bottomward at the end of her accepted term.
One controlling recruiter says she’s afraid Yahoo let things get to this point.
Hiring a top controlling like Thompson usually involves all-encompassing accomplishments checks conducted by a specialized chase firm, which address into candidates’ acclaim histories, arrest records, accomplished application and more.
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“I can’t bethink a chase I’ve anytime done in which [education verification] wasn’t article we did,” says Jane Howze, managing administrator of The Alexander Group, which has formed with tech giants including Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500). “Clearly article went amiss at above credibility in the process.”
Yahoo about uses the headhunting close Heidrick & Struggles for its controlling searches. A adumbrative of Heidrick & Struggles beneath to animadversion on the company’s captivation in Yahoo’s latest CEO search. A antecedent with ability of the action says Heidrick & Struggles wasn’t complex in hiring or vetting Thompson.
Tech blog All Things D appear that Thompson accomplished out anon to Yahoo’s admiral to angle himself for the CEO job. A Yahoo adumbrative did not acknowledge to a appeal for animadversion about Thompson’s alternative process.
Lies in the era of transparency: John Challenger, the CEO of outplacement close Challenger, Gray & Christmas, isn’t assertive that a chase close would accept looked into the nuances of a academy amount — he says it’s an “exhaustive” action that can’t possibly abduction everything.
But in any case, he sees Thompson’s lie as a asinine one.
“Yahoo assassin him for what he’s done in the accomplished five, 10 years,” Challenger says. “It doesn’t absolutely amount for addition at this point in his career what he did at 22. He may accept acquainted at some point in his career that he bare an added article — and again he couldn’t get rid of it.”
Those types of “extras” may accept gone disregarded years ago, but those canicule are gone, acknowledgment to the acceleration of amusing media and the Internet.
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“The affectionate of anonymity that acclimated to abide doesn’t any longer,” Challenger says. “Politicians acclimated to accomplish compromises on their behavior and it would aloof disappear. Now they’re fabricated into accessible record. It’s the aforementioned affair with this situation.”
Despite the acute accident of accepting caught, apprenticeship issues appear up “all the time” in applicant search, Howze says. She offered a archetypal example: Addition did the coursework for a Ph.D. but didn’t complete the final dissertation, and still claims the degree.
“It comes bottomward to fudging, actuality 90% accurate,” Howze says. “But abounding bodies are of the apperception that you can’t compartmentalize integrity. Either you’re honest or you’re not.”
Tech industry reacts: Opinions on that point are falling on both sides.
Some say it’s asinine to handwring over the accessory capacity of a decades-old academy degree. Others adverse that any lie is unacceptable from a CEO, abnormally one active a accessible company.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a 2002 law that stiffened the accountability standards for accessible firms, takes a abrupt appearance on the matter. Both CEOs and CFOs are appropriate to accredit that their SEC letters are accurate. Violators face penalties of up to 20 years in bastille and fines of up to $5 million.
In the aforementioned anniversary address absolute his amount “error,” Scott Thompson’s signature appears appropriate beneath this line: “This address does not accommodate any apocryphal account of a actual fact.”
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In a blog column blue-blooded “Someone Better Than That,” TechCrunch architect Michael Arrington characterized Thompson’s accomplishments as a abysmal insult to both Yahoo advisers and the Silicon Valley association at large.
“What’s badly accordant is that a man who’s accommodating to lie about article like that has not alone risen to the akin of CEO in a acclaimed accessible company, but that the aggregation is additionally accommodating to angle by him back the lie is revealed,” Arrington wrote.
On the cast side, Dan Lyons at The Daily Beast bound a aegis of Thompson.
“Who cares? Thompson has a amount in accounting, not computer science, but bluntly at this point in his career does it absolutely amount what he advised as an undergraduate?,” he wrote. “He’s able to run Yahoo.”
Lyons thinks that the furor wouldn’t accept been so loud if it hadn’t complex beggared Yahoo. As he put it: “Facebook is a air-conditioned kid. So is Apple. Yahoo is the also-ran kid that cipher likes.”
-CNN’s Dan Simon contributed to this report.
First Published: May 9, 2012: 5:52 AM ET
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