Scott Thompson out as Yahoo CEO

After a week of controversy over his resume, the company announces his departure

By , IDG News Service |  Business, Yahoo, Scott Thompson

Thompson, who was previously an executive with eBay, was hired by Yahoo to try to get the struggling Internet company back on track after years of leadership changes in the midst of unsteady financial performance and competitive pressure from Google and more recently from Facebook. But then Loeb pushed his own slate of candidates -- himself included -- for the board of directors and as part of that, revealed that Thompson did not have a college degree in accounting and computer science, contrary to what was on his resume and information in the company's financial filings.

Thompson sought to quell the situation by saying it was the fault of the head-hunting firm Heidrick and Struggles, which he said was responsible for the mistake when he was in the running to become president of eBay's PayPal unit in 2000. However, Heidrick and Struggles replied that it was "verifiably not true" that the firm was responsible for the mistake. The firm told Yahoo's board that it had a copy of the resume Thompson submitted that included the computer science degree on it, according to published reports.

He also reportedly met with Yahoo employees in two meetings to try to clear up the matter and in a statement released by Yahoo he apologized that questions about his resume had become a "distraction." However, those attempts were unsuccessful and the controversy continued.

Thompson was hired in January as CEO to replace Carol Bartz, who was fired by the board last September. Her blunt approach, complete with often colorful language in public speeches, was at first seen as a breath of fresh air for the ailing company, but that quickly changed.

Bartz was hired in 2009 to replace Jerry Yang, the company's co-founder who had stepped in to the CEO role in mid-2007.

Thompson quickly took steps to try to improve the company's ailing fortunes, cutting 2,000 jobs and making management changes. Yahoo's first-quarter sales figures beat analyst estimates and it also reported the first revenue increase in more than three years, bolstering hopes that the company was on the mend.

But Loeb found fault with Thompson's approach and began his public campaign in earnest to unseat the CEO, saying in April that Thompson should not have announced job cuts without having first provided more detailed plans for the company. He also argued that Yahoo should have accepted Microsoft's previous acquisition bid.\

News that Yahoo would soon announce Thompson's departure first broke on the All Things D blog published by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, with The New York Times soon after reporting that the announcement could come as early as Monday. The board of directors reportedly held a conference call to discuss the matter Sunday.

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